BEAUTY FOR ASHES. By shiny Eric

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When a writer writes a story, a poet writes a poem, a songwriter composes a song or an artist paints a picture, there is some inspiration behind it all, an inspiration that made the person create a work of art. It is said that `beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder`- something extremely appealing in one person`s eye might not be of much significance in another`s.
When God created each one of us, He made sure that every person had their own uniqueness, by human standards we might never measure up to the expectations put on us by others or even by ourselves but through God`s eyes each one is precious and nothing less than a masterpiece with the fingerprints of God - the potter who moulded each vessel gently just the way He thought best.

Shakespeare in "As you Like It" writes:

`All the world`s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exists and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts…`

The truth is that in playing all these parts sometimes things go the way we want them to and sometimes they don`t.
Life has its own twists and turns which are mostly unexpected and at times way beyond human understanding but then if we always had answers to all our questions we wouldn`t really need God in our lives.
It is rightly said that the `trials of today become the testimonies of tomorrow`
In the dark recesses of our lives, in those low moments, is when we truly learn to lean on God and fathom the magnitude of His presence. In that one particular instant the simple belief in Him could be the only power to get us through a trying period.

The reason why Jesus is real even today is because He knows what it feels to be `human` ; to be misjudged, hurt, betrayed, condemned and treated unfairly.
The thing to remember when going through testing times is that, no matter what God is in control and instead of having a bitter attitude, to wait upon Him for vindication.
God is alive and will make things right in His time because He`s promised. God honours His promises even when we don`t. He sure keeps His word.

"Sometimes the activity of God comes in unusual ways. God often sets up scenes that appear to be negative on the front end, but God has orchestrated these events for His glory.

. Without Pharaoh`s pursuit of Israel at the Red Sea, there is no miraculous deliverance.

. Without Lazarus`s death, there is no rising to life.

. Without Peter stepping out of the boat, there is no miracle on the water.

. Without Judas` betrayal, there is no resurrection." 1
To understand the `Father heart` of God can be a liberating experience, to know his unconditional love and the true knowledge of His grace equally significant.
The concept of `grace` in Christianity is probably one of the most beautiful and amazing one. Not one of us can claim to be prefect, it`s only by grace that we are accepted as we are and not as we should be and that’s why with God there is always another chance.
That doesn’t mean that He takes lightly every wrong deed done but if there is genuine repentance then He forgives and accepts and above all keeps no previous records.
The good thing with God is that He doesn`t put all of us in the same box but deals with us according to our individuality and differences.

Our God is a covenant God and there are certain things only God can do, only He can heal a broken heart that cannot feel, only He can take the pain away, only He can see our tomorrow so clearly only He can do anything.

For Christians as a community and even on an individual level, the world sometimes can be a cold place but still we can do the best we can anyway, which is aptly illustrated in this piece of writing titled `Anyway`

"People are unreasonable, illogical and self-centered
Treat them well anyway

If you do good people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives
Do good anyway

People really need help but may attack you if you help them
Help people anyway

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow
Do good anyway

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable
Be honest and frank anyway

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight
Build anyway

Give the world the best you have and you`ll get kicked in the teeth
Give the world the best you`ve got...ANYWAY"

Moments lost in history are lost forever. `The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone` but that can change if we learn from our experiences and allow God to work on us and change us from within. There is hope and a future for each one of us in Christ Jesus and if we give it all to Him, we can trust Him to transform the sorrows and the ashes of our lives into a thing of beauty.

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