Let God Make Beautiful Things from Your Dust

Let God Make Beautiful Things from Your Dust

Wailing sirens pierced through the night, and red and blue lights danced across our kitchen walls as a patrol car screamed past our house, interrupting our quiet dinner. It was the second one in less than a couple minutes. “Geeze, is there a fire or something,” our dinner guest commented. Not a minute later another screeching siren entered our neighborhood, this time followed by the blaring horn of a fire truck. We all ran to the front of the house and peeled back the blinds. Never could I have prepared myself for what I was about to see.

The cold, black sky was lit up with a thick, glowing haze. Radioactive, orange clouds hovered oppressively over our once quiet neighborhood, and flames stretched towards the stars, dancing and swaying as if in some evil trance. Our neighbors’ house was completely engulfed in a fiery inferno. We put on our shoes and hurried out the door.

“Utter devastation” are the only words that can describe the scene. We shivered despite the heat wave that poured from the house. It was a chilling and somber vision. Flames erupted from the windows and roof, licking the dark night as the family’s home melted beneath the weight of destruction. The van in the driveway glowed hauntingly; fire seemed to pour from it as oil and gasoline leaked down the street. Firefighters tried desperately to extinguish the trail, but the liquids continued to reignite. After what seemed like an eternity, the monstrous, flaming beast succumbed and accepted defeat.

The next morning, we drove past the house. All that remained was a cold and lifeless shell, darkened with smoke and depression. Our neighbors’ home was gone. A month or so later, the skeleton of a house was finally demolished leaving only the stone foundation and piles of ash. That was March of this year.

Every morning my dog and I walk past the bare lot, a sad and somber memory of what took place that dark night. Nothing has changed. No progress has been made on the reconstruction, at least, not visibly. But just here recently, I noticed a striking and remarkable change taking place. At the foot of where the front porch would have ended, beautiful sunflowers erupted from the ground. No doubt seeds planted long before the fire ever occurred. Everything on that plot of land had been destroyed, including all the landscaping and shrubbery, but not these little seeds of hope. The sunflowers seemed to be saying, “We will not be shaken. We will live again.”

God plants seeds of hope in all of us. He plants these seeds long before we ever face the daunting trials of life, so that when disaster comes, we have a reminder, something beautiful that can grow inside of us despite the tragedy around us. Just as on the day God created Adam from the soil of the earth, God continues to make beautiful things out of the dust. Hebrews 13:8 says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” And if that is the case, then God is always on a mission to re-create and restore. That is what He does. He takes the ruin and ashes of our lives and forms them into something more beautiful than we could ever imagine—life.

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor… and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes. They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated (Isaiah 61:1, 3, 4).

beautiful-dust

Wailing sirens pierced through the night, and red and blue lights danced across our kitchen walls as a patrol car screamed past our house, interrupting our quiet dinner. It was the second one in less than a couple minutes. “Geeze, is there a fire or something,” our dinner guest commented. Not a minute later another screeching siren entered our neighborhood, this time followed by the blaring horn of a fire truck. We all ran to the front of the house and peeled back the blinds. Never could I have prepared myself for what I was about to see.

The cold, black sky was lit up with a thick, glowing haze. Radioactive, orange clouds hovered oppressively over our once quiet neighborhood, and flames stretched towards the stars, dancing and swaying as if in some evil trance. Our neighbors’ house was completely engulfed in a fiery inferno. We put on our shoes and hurried out the door.

“Utter devastation” are the only words that can describe the scene. We shivered despite the heat wave that poured from the house. It was a chilling and somber vision. Flames erupted from the windows and roof, licking the dark night as the family’s home melted beneath the weight of destruction. The van in the driveway glowed hauntingly; fire seemed to pour from it as oil and gasoline leaked down the street. Firefighters tried desperately to extinguish the trail, but the liquids continued to reignite. After what seemed like an eternity, the monstrous, flaming beast succumbed and accepted defeat.

The next morning, we drove past the house. All that remained was a cold and lifeless shell, darkened with smoke and depression. Our neighbors’ home was gone. A month or so later, the skeleton of a house was finally demolished leaving only the stone foundation and piles of ash. That was March of this year.

Every morning my dog and I walk past the bare lot, a sad and somber memory of what took place that dark night. Nothing has changed. No progress has been made on the reconstruction, at least, not visibly. But just here recently, I noticed a striking and remarkable change taking place. At the foot of where the front porch would have ended, beautiful sunflowers erupted from the ground. No doubt seeds planted long before the fire ever occurred. Everything on that plot of land had been destroyed, including all the landscaping and shrubbery, but not these little seeds of hope. The sunflowers seemed to be saying, “We will not be shaken. We will live again.”

God plants seeds of hope in all of us. He plants these seeds long before we ever face the daunting trials of life, so that when disaster comes, we have a reminder, something beautiful that can grow inside of us despite the tragedy around us. Just as on the day God created Adam from the soil of the earth, God continues to make beautiful things out of the dust. Hebrews 13:8 says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” And if that is the case, then God is always on a mission to re-create and restore. That is what He does. He takes the ruin and ashes of our lives and forms them into something more beautiful than we could ever imagine—life.

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor… and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes… They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated… {Isaiah 61:1, 3, 4}