Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Ashes From Your Past Hold the Beginning of Your Bright Future

Her dreams were all shattered. Her life was a shambles. Nothing had worked out the way she wanted it to. Her husband was in prison. Their home had been repossessed. She was driving a twenty year old vehicle with a dent in one side. Her hair was greying. Her face was wrinkling; and she was forty pounds overweight. Her life was definitely over. Only ashes were left. She was still breathing, but sometimes she wondered what was the point.

His life was over. Well, at least it was over the way it was. His wife left him. His business failed. His pet turtle died. He moved back in with his parents, and then even their rose bushes all got a blight. There was nothing left of his old life but ashes. He was still breathing, but he failed to see the point of his existence.

These two people thought everything was over and done with. They thought nothing in their future could come close to the joy and good things of their pasts. Figuratively speaking, they were living in the ash heap of the ruins of their pasts. Not one dream or accomplishment was left standing.

Fortunately for them, they had forgotten something important. Ashes are very important to successful composting. It takes good compost to grow strong plants. The beginnings of a blessed and bright future was forming in the compost from their pasts.

David and Bathsheba are examples of people whose lives were in shambles because of their sins. They had really messed up big time. I mean, how much more messed up can you get than adultery and murder? Then their baby died. You would think that with all that had happened, they might not have even wanted that baby, but they did want it; and they were heartbroken when it died.

Bathsheba was an adulteress and a widow.

David was still king, but his image was tarnished to say the least. First he doesn't even go to battle with his army. Then he steals a good soldier's wife (Uriah). Then he has the Uriah murdered. You know that really inspired the people to love their king! (not)

These two people were definitely standing in the ash heap of their past lives.

THEN - the ashes began to compost. Compost makes rich soil. A new life began to grow out of the mess they had made of their past lives.

Eventually, David and Bathsheba had a son named Solomon. Bathsheba the adulteress became the mother of the next king of Israel. David the king prayed to God, 'restore to me the joy of my salvation.' His walk with God was restored. The consequences of his sin didn't go away, but he did continue as king until he died.

Are you in an 'ashes' stage of your life? Maybe you messed up your life like David and Bathsheba did. Maybe someone else messed it up for you. Regardless, you are the one suffering now. You may be the one paying the price for mistakes and circumstances beyond your control.

Today is the day to hope in God. From the ashes of your past life spring the seeds for your future. If you want the ashes of your past to turn into high grade compost in a hurry, do what David did. Pray to God, 'Restore unto me the joy of my salvation.' (Psalm 51:12)

To have that prayer answered required that David throw himself into the word of God with his whole heart. God used David's repentance to draw David closer to Him.

I don't know what situation you are in. Maybe you are the one like David who needs to repent of sin to start the composting process. Maybe you are someone like Uriah's family. You need to forgive an evil done to you before you can start the 'ashes to compost' process. Don't stay mired in the ash heap of dissappointment and sorrow. Set your face to seek God today, and be surprised by how much joy is in your tomorrow.

God bless you.

Barbara Henderson

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