Beauty from Ashes: A Time For Everything
Isn’t Ecclesiastes 3 reassuring? It tells us there is a time for everything. “There is a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance…” In the midst of trying times, this promise reminds us that restoration is coming. God’s purpose may not always be clear to us, but we know that His plan is always good and He will always bring restoration.
As I consider the gift of restoration that God offers to us, my friend Ed comes to mind. Life experiences and the tragic loss of his brother resulted in Ed’s attempts to bury his feelings with pain pills, cocaine and heroin. When Ed woke up in an emergency room one day, his body shutting down, it was his profound encounter with Satan himself and then with Jesus that changed everything. He was healed and began a new life! Several years later, Ed and his wife were blessed to become parents to an absolutely beautiful little girl from China; she is the light of his life! This grateful father thanks his Heavenly Father every day for restoring him to a healthy and blessed life.
Similarly, the healing that God offers to all who seek Him is seen in World Vision’s ministry. World Vision gives hope of restoration through Christ to people who are living in darkness, their lives void of hope. I think of innocent boys who have been forced to serve as child soldiers, committing unthinkable atrocities. I think of women and girls who have suffered humiliation and mutilation that has stolen their dignity. When these victims of ignorance, violence and oppression are brought to a place of refuge with World Vision, they can receive God’s healing and be restored to the full life God intended for them.
Women of Vision around the country can rejoice when meditating on the message of restoration described in Isaiah 58:
8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousnesswill go before you,
and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.
9 Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;
you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
“If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday.”
What a blessing it is to be a part of bringing God’s light to His children around the world!
11 The Lord will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame. (NIV)
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.
12 Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins
and will raise up the age-old foundations
you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,
Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.
As we remember the suffering that Jesus endured, we are blessed to remember that God’s purpose was fulfilled on the cross—through Jesus, we are reconciled to God. Hallelujah!
by Beth Happick, WOV Baltimore