Divine Exchange

”To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.” Isaiah 61:3 NKJV

Ever notice that when God introduces an exchanging of circumstances, the two extremes come into proximity of one another at some point? It’s as if beauty meets ashes in a narrow corridor, and the two have to turn sideways to get past each other.

I don’t have all the answers, but I believe that God in His goodness allows us to actually be eyewitnesses of mercy overtaking our judgment, healing overtaking our woundedness, success overtaking our failure, joy overtaking our heartbreak. He tends not to leave a long pause between the departure of the bad and the arrival of the good in many of our life situations. I pondered that today as I drove along in the rain. Perhaps God does this so that when the blessing replaces the curse, we will know it’s His fingerprints on a divine plan for our restoration…and not just some cosmic coincidence.

“Beauty” may not be immediately in sight tonight, but I pray that the time will soon arrive when you see “ashes” on its way out your door. Don’t be surprised if you hear beauty say, “excuse me,” as it gently but resolutely brushes past the ashes of what once was. It will perhaps be a little bonus gift for you to eavesdrop on the exchange as it occurs.

Your night won’t last forever. God hasn’t forgotten you. He has many more reasons for you to keep getting out of bed, breathing, willing yourself to live!

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