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Week Four | Beauty from Ashes

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Week Four | Get Out of Your Head Online Book Study
Reading Assignments – Ch. 10, 11 & 12
Listen to the Audio version | Read time 7.5-minutes

Global pandemic, lockdown, quarantine, murder hornets, hurricanes, floods, fires, murders, riots, and no toilet paper.  This is not how we envisioned the year 2020. Turn on any news broadcast or scroll through social media and within minutes it looks like the world is the worst it’s ever been. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed, anxious, discouraged, and depressed.

All through history whenever there has been a disaster or devastation at any level, we see the people affected growing one of two ways.  People will either become bitter or better, and the outcome depends on the “I”.

If we focus inward and only think about the “I feel… I need… I wish…” statements, we can completely miss the blessing of what God is capable of doing in and through us.  On the other side, if we lift up our eyes to the mountains, where our help comes from the Lord, as David wrote in Psalms, the result is so much better.  The less we focus on ourselves and the more we strive to be like Christ, truly humbled and full of love and compassion for others, the better we become.

“I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from?  My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.”  Psalms 121:1-4, NIV

I want to challenge you to look a little farther than the surface and news broadcasts. Look and see how neighbors are helping neighbors, families are getting creative in how they see each other, friends are reaching out and checking on one another.

Medical professionals are rising to meet enormous challenges and doing it passionately and doing it with excellence. First responders are continuing to serve and protect and are learning how to do so even better.

Pastors and Ministers are figuring out technology and churches are expanding into homes, parks, and outdoor areas so we can continue worshiping God together even while being a little more socially distant. Teachers and parents are working more closely to help kids learn and thrive when it’s downright hard to even make sure they survive.

Do you see it? Oh friends, do you see His glorious beauty all around us?

“Beauty interrupts us, it awakens us, it undoes us, it cuts us open, and restarts our hearts. Beauty is God’s evidence of something far more wonderful coming, a world beyond the one we can imagine, even in the most spectacular moment here. A God better than what we hope for. A God who blows our minds.”

jennie Allen, get out of your head (pg. 135)

Even if we can’t see the beauty yet, we can trust that just as God promised in Isaiah 61:3, that there will be beauty instead of ashes, gladness instead of mourning, and praise instead of despair.

God demonstrates this all the time in nature. We’re witnessing such awful destruction from the wildfires in the west and yet there are particular plants that depend on the fires. Smaller plants like the huckleberry need the fires to open up the forest canopy to allow more sunlight through. If it weren’t for the fire, its fruit wouldn’t be as plentiful or as sweet.

Also, the giant sequoias rely on the fires to open their seed cones so they can reproduce, and they also benefit from the rich fertilized ground from the ashes of the other plants.

Through God’s plan and design there can be such beauty grow up from the ruins and remains.

“Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.  But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.”  1 Peter 4:12-13, NIV  

There is so much hope when we consider how much growth and beauty will come from this time of devastation in our country and around the world. The world is crying out more than it has in thousands of years. We are feeling desperate. As we cry out to God, He is faithful to hear our prayers, and He can move through our desperation and bring about a revival and healing.

Just as beauty comes from the ashes, we can hold tight to the promises of God, that He will work all of this together for our good and for His glory to be revealed.


Thanks for reading what God has put on my heart. Now we’d love to hear what He’s been sharing with you.

Identify – In this week’s reading assignment, Jennie talks about how through faith and trust in God we can see the beauty in His design and plan, as well as the importance of humility and dependence on God.

Join the Discussion – Have you noticed something particularly beautiful coming from a deeper dependence on the Lord during this extremely challenging and desperate time in our lives?

Share with us in the comments; we’d love to hear from you!

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One Comment

  1. Something good that has come from these challenging times is more time with my husband/ family and meeting new neighbors. We have also been taking more family walks.

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