Beauty For Ashes
Posted on January 25, 2019 by America's Keswick in Victory Call
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
Two people lay in a hospital as a result of a head-on collision. The one, a beloved pastor, lay unconscious, kept alive by life-support; the other, his wife, seriously wounded, on oxygen, but conscious. Not totally aware of all that was going on around her, but aware enough to understand her husband was dying.
Early the next morning, a woman from her church, who was also a hospital volunteer, appeared at her bedside and said, “I’m not going to stay; I just wanted to leave you with this verse: ‘When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the Rock that is higher than I.’” And she left.
The following day her husband’s doctor came, “I’m sorry,” he said, “your husband has died.” Unable to move, but not unable to speak, she replied, “Don’t be sorry. I know where he is – in the presence of the Lord he loved and served.” With a puzzled look and a pat on her arm, the doctor quietly left.
The Bible is full of wonderful “words of life” – of advice, admonitions, promises, comfort. The Holy Spirit ministered to me through verse after verse, for even though I could not read as yet, I could remember Scripture; and songs, oh, how songs soothed my overwhelmed spirit.
“Fear thou not, for I am with thee;
I will still thy Pilot be:
Never mind the tossing billows;
Take My hand and trust in Me.”
The afternoon of the accident, I had just concluded a study on Jeremiah with my Bible study group; consequently, the words of 29:11 were sharp in my mind. Thus, lying helpless and immobile, feeling lost without a husband anymore, I trusted His promise: “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord, “plans for good, and not for ill, to give you a future and a hope.” A wonderful future He gave me indeed! He gave me “beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness” (Isaiah 61:3). And “the joy of the Lord [became] my strength” (Nehemiah 8:10).
Turning tragedy into triumph is the Lord’s business. Do we have a part? Oh, yes.
“Trust and obey, for there’s no other way, to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.”
From Real Victory for Real Life Volume 1
Written by Midge Ruth: Midge Ruth was a member of the Board of Trustees of America’s Keswick from 1991 to 2011. She was a schoolteacher and a pastor’s wife. Midge went to be with the Lord in 2014.
Daily Quote: “Trouble is one of God’s great servants because it reminds us how much we continually need the Lord.” – Jim Cymbala
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: Also for Adam and his wife the Lord God made tunics of skin, and clothed them. – Genesis 3:21