Serendipity: An instance of making a delightful and unexpected discovery.
Earlier in the week I told you I would share a bit of our recent travels. The day began full of promise and adventure. After conducting some company business in the Gulfport, MS area, Handy Hubby and I drove down to the coastal highway. Shock and dismay lay at the end of our destination. Three years after hurricane Katrina the devastation is still so very evident. My heart was rent at the sights we saw there. I have no pictures to share with you of the rebuilding, it seemed too much of a raw wound to photograph. Bits of beauty still existed beyond the desolate landscape. Even the sky seemed to sense our mood and clouded over, yet, rays of sun broke through like the promise of a new day.We passed a home that was being restored and noticed a cross planted firmly in the front yard. It had a painted message on the cross brace reading, "Jesus rose again and so will we!" The cross was outlined in white lights so that the message of hope would shine out in the darkness. This simple message showed the fortitude of a people willing and able to rebuild their lives after unimaginable circumstances. Everywhere we looked we saw hope and strength born out of adversity.Trees that once stood majestically in the medium of the roadway had been snapped off like twigs and shattered stumps and trunks were all that remained. Someone took the liberty of claiming certain trees, marking them with blue paint. "Save" was the message on them. Puzzled we kept wondering why you would want to save such broken things. Further down the road we saw the answer. Someone was turning these broken things into works of art. They were being carved into wonderful sea birds and dolphins.Isaiah 61 instantly came to mind where Scripture says that provision will be made for those who grieve. A crown of beauty will be bestowed upon them instead of ashes, they will receive the oil of joy instead of mourning, a garment of praise to replace a spirit of despair....they will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated, they will renew ruined cities.What a vivid lesson the Lord laid out before me. Circumstances beyond our control may blow into our lives leaving us broken or battered. As hard as it may seem in the midst of a life crisis, there is always hope and the promise of a new day. Sometime it may not seem that there is much to salvage when we are left shocked and dismayed. The clean up effort may seem to be such a herculean task that our attitude may become, "Why bother?" We may not be able to see the point in our circumstances but further down the road we will see the answer. The Lord is marking us worth saving and turning our brokenness into a work of art, carving us into His wonderful image. Bits of beauty still exist and shine through even in the darkest of times if we will only look for it.Go back and read through the above promises in Isaiah 61 and take note of these highlighted words: Receive, Replace, Rebuild, Restore, and Renew. That passage is packed with promises! This passage speaks to me about receiving the good as well as the bad into my life whether it be beauty or ashes, joy or mourning, praise or despair as a part of God's plans for me knowing that there is hope after each negative circumstance. In these words I see that the good will replace the bad. The rebuilding will serve to restrengthen, reinforce, reshape, and refresh me. The restoration will reestablish me. Renewal will take place, recovery will happen, and I will resume as if new again. I only need be firmly planted in my faith, looking to the cross and its message, "Jesus rose again and so will I!"As we drove away the clouds began to roll back and we witnessed the most spectacular sunset, proof that we always get beauty for ashes.
May your Sunday be filled with sweetness!