Thursday, July 18, 2013

Beauty for Ashes

A Devotional by Margot Cioccio

    Isaiah 61:3
    As for those who grieve over Zion, 
    God has sent me to give them a beautiful crown in exchange for ashes, 
    To anoint them with gladness instead of sorrow, 
    to wrap them in victory, joy, and praise 
    instead of depression and sadness. 
    People will call them magnificent, 
    like great towering trees standing for what is right. 
    They stand to the glory of the Eternal who planted them.

I've been working on these bottles today for a friend who has ordered them to give as gifts. She runs summer music camps for kids in Ohio and will be giving these to her workers. 

It's funny how things come up we were talking about stained glass because her camp kids had done a craft project that had a bit of a stained glass look to it.  I was sharing how my mosaics are made from the scrap from stained glass windows and that I even save the tiny chips and put them into sun catcher bottles. I do buy some glass that is new but I buy scrap when ever I can because it costs less. I suppose it is my small part in recycling.   Anyway the tags on the bottles say "Beauty can be found even in brokenness" Sadly I just realized while looking at the above photo that I neglected the wee little word "be". So I will be making the tags over again. Thankfully I noticed the error before I had attached all the tags to the bottles. Broken glass can be quite beautiful - miss spelled tags... well thats a problem. 

Our verse today talks about God exchanging beauty for ashes and joy and praise for sorrow and depression. Our God is really good about taking things that are broken and making something beautiful out of them. I don't know why He does not just protect us from ever getting broken in the first place. Perhaps in the first place we were not all that concerned with God's way of doing things or his input into our life. We had it handled... right? 

We are quick to blame God when things don't work out how we had planned but often we never really invited Him into the things we were doing. Most of the time when we finally get around to calling out to God we are down to last resorts. When we invite Him he comes in and helps us pick up the pieces. Generally when he puts things back together it is not exactly like the original thing that got broken. I like to think of it like a life mosaic. He sees this piece and that other broken piece and puts those pieces together with other parts and bits to create a new wonderful design. 

How has God picked up the broken pieces of your life? I'd love it if you shared a comment about your journey and God's great faithfulness. 

Prayer: I pray that you will see how much God loves you all the way down to the smallest bits. That he will help you to see how nothing that you have gone through is waisted. Thank you Lord that you can make beauty from burned up ashes. You can take our lives and work in them so that they become a praise to your magnificent glory. 


  1. I was baptized in 2011, at my church. I've been through a lot of rough patches but God has shown me His love. I don't know where Id be if I wasn't with God right now. He taught me not to worry (I sometimes still worry but not nearly as much as I used to)Thanks You!

  2. Thanks Kayla,
    For stopping by and leaving a comment. I love comments. Glad you have overcome worry that is a big one for a lot of people.

    Blessings, Margot


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