Beauty for Ashes…

Isaiah 61 is probably one of the most comforting chapters in the Bible. The very first verse begins with good news preaching “good tidings to the poor,” speaks to “heal the broken-hearted,” and proclaims “liberty to the captives.”

Most of us need “comfort” at one time or another. We suffer wounds along our way. We lose people and mourn. Things we hold dear can be reduced to nothing.

Fear, doubt, and even daily life can sometimes pull us under yet thankfully we don’t have to stay under or bound by any of our losses. Isaiah teaches us not to wallow in our sorrows but instead be willing to exchange what we have for what our God is willing to give us.




I recall learning how the ashes caused by forest fires fertilize the ground to allow new growth. The “fires” in our lives have this same potential. How amazing that the remnants of what was can become the foundation for what can be.

If you are wounded, don’t give up. Instead, give yourself over to God. He can take you and your remnants and produce something new!

Isaiah preached of what was to come, our God is available to us now.

A Healer.

A Redeemer.

Receiving God’s beauty requires that we give up what we have, even that which is painfully familiar, so that we may receive His promises.

 What are you holding on to?

“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


By Lilka Finley Raphael

Author, Editor, Gardner, Photographer, Pharmacist


  1. I love the analogy of, like real forest fires, the fires in our lives are a chance for rebirth. I firmly believe everything is an opportunity to grow and learn and you put it into some very nice words! I loved the article

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Halle! I’ve had to draw upon this scripture often and that analogy came to me in response to the many “fires” I’ve had this year. Thanks so much for taking time to stop by and comment. Very much appreciated 🙂 B Blessed!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is very well written, Lilka. Such a positive theme delivered right out of the ashes of sorrow and loss. Isaiah is a good teacher, and God is good in all things!


    Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree with you, Lilka. We are “NT Christians,” but as such, we can’t forget that there is so much in the OT that has set up the events of the NT! It is wise to pick up on the history revealed in the Old Testament!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Beautiful scripture. One that I have not read in a while. It is a good companion for when Jesus says to Lay up treasures in Heaven and not on earth. As I get older I find this to be more and more true. My focus is upward not earth bound.

    Liked by 1 person

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