Ashes are the result of something consumed or burned. After a glorious fire, ashes remain. They symbolize what was. The soot and dirt marks our hands and what was once beautiful, now is a mess.
Loss and pain can resemble and create ashes. Something that was that can never be again. Worthlessness and regret, a relationship, a loved one passed, or something very valuable that was lost due to carelessness – this is real life.
Ashes don’t have to be the end of our story. God’s story is ALWAYS unfolding. God promises to give “beauty for ashes” in Isaiah 61:3. God wants to fill our “voids” were things have been ripped away and we are left holding ashes and the wind is blowing them all around. He wants to fill these empty places with Himself. Places that were once vibrant, that are now desolate – He can make them “launch pads” for growth.
Where we place our pain is of utmost importance. If we hold onto to it, or ingest it by constantly thinking on it, this will destroy us, In Leviticus 6:11 says “take the ashes out of the camp and put them in a clean place.” After a sacrifice the priest was to remove the ashes away from the ceremonial altar. If the ashes remained it would contaminate the next offering. So it is with us – if we hold onto the loss, we will not receive the gain that is coming.
In our lives God is always working. His redemptive nature will redeem ALL things back to its eternal intent. It may not look like what it was, but He will cause something beautiful to come from loss, pain and fear. What seemingly is worthless – will have great worth once again.
Surrender the ashes today and let Christ remove them and put them in a clean place. He will cause newness to sprout from barrenness, and bring life out of death. Don’t fret at what was, look unto Christ and discover what will be. Our future will be greater than our past could have ever been.