A red-orange blanket fringed with gold lay across the distant mountain ridges rolling high and low, and higher still, towards the horizon. Its amber glow lit a fire in my heart as I thought of the Lord. Moments later the bright morning sun peeked from beneath the blanket, and scattered ribbons of lavender across the awakening sky.
Was it a morning like this when Mary ran out from Jerusalem?* The morning when a mighty God turned an upside-down world right-side up with an awesome plan of redemption, restoration, and peace? A morning when our crucified Lord conquered death and rolled the stone away that Mary and the others might behold their miracle?
I can’t imagine anything less.
What a glorious dawning of a brand new day.
What a glorious foretelling of what was to come …
Throughout the day, we feasted on God’s Word and drank deeply from His well — twenty-two sisters yearning for more of God. In our pursuit of holiness, we allowed Him to search our hearts for those things that were yet to be yielded to Him.
At the close of the day, time stood still in soul-searching prayer as we asked the Lord to speak to our hearts and grant us the courage to let go of that which had been revealed.
Quietly, words of the heart written for an audience of One were entrusted to paper. Once folded, the papers hid secrets within — heart-words between our Father and His child. Then in the cool of the mountain, a fire was kindled in the fire-pit beyond the french doors of our conference room.
The ladies walked in silence through the doors and circled the fire. All was quiet on this mountaintop — all except the delicate whisper of the Holy Spirit deep within each of us. As we prepared our hearts to let go and trust God with the desires of our hearts, each lady in her own time dropped the folded paper into the hungry flames.
A red-orange flame fringed in gold consumed each paper, leaving ashes in its wake. Sacred ashes. Ashes from yielded hearts. Ashes seeking beauty from betrayal, disappointment, fear, and broken dreams.
The God of the Consuming Fire accepted our offerings of yielded hearts, for the Lord, indeed is a consuming fire, a jealous God (Deuteronomy 4:24).
And on that morning when our crucified Lord conquered death and rolled the stone away so that Mary and the others might behold their miracle, we, too, were on His mind.
To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”
~ Isaiah 61:3
Beauty for ashes …
Ashes bathed in the resurrection power of our risen Lord who brings dead things to life and restores the broken.
*lyric taken from Was It a Morning Like This? written by Jim Croegaert
Many of you prayed for me last weekend as I brought four messages to yearning hearts at the 2017 Satisfied Women’s Conference in Laurel Springs, NC. Thank you so much. The Lord showed up mighty in power and tender in love, giving us a glimpse of who He is as He passed by. He is a good, good Father! Amen?