I often find myself captivated by the lyrics of a song and need to draw what comes to mind. In the song by Chris Tomlin, Our God, ‘out of the ashes we will rise, there’s none like you’, ‘Into the darkness you shine, out of the ashes we rise, no one like you’, this image emerged.
Out of the ashes beauty will rise. ~ Nicki Edwards
Ashes symbolise burned up remains. Actually ashes are burned up remains. They not only symbolise death, they are what death looks like.
Empty of life.
This is how life can look depending on the season we are in. Each season bringing its own renewal, changes and the burning off of the dross. The rubbish, the debris and the junk that gets in the way of us being the best version of us. Some seasons bring great bushfires that consume us, physically and/or spiritually, leaving nothing in its wake resembling anything familiar, our hopes, our dreams, ourselves or our understanding of God. We get consumed by our ‘right now’, our circumstances and more often, than not, within our own perceptions.
Bushfires in nature are the only ways that forests can be sustained and grow stronger. It’s through immense heat, scorching and burning that seed pods open and release seeds to fall to the ground, into the ashes. Within the first month following a fire, the forest floor can be found covered in new trees growing. Sometimes seeds have waited years for the bushfire that would release them to fall to the remains of the forest floor. Then, out of the ash heap grows a place of fruitfulness.
In this image ‘out of ashes’, it’s showing that regardless of the things that have consumed me time and time again in my life, God is at work through them, healing, transforming, burning off the dross, renewing and growing a deeper understanding of Him and that my life is nothing without Him.
In 1 Samuel 2:8 I am reminded that “He raises the poor from the dust, He lifts the needy from the ash heap to make them sit with nobles, and inherit a seat of honour; for the pillars of the earth are the LORD’S and He set the world on them”
Our stories are not narratives of all the bad, or a journey through the darkness that is intended to consume, maim, distort and destroy. Instead our stories are the places that reveal light in the darkness; that there is more to this existence than what we can physically see. There is a grace offered to us through the cross and that instead of ruins and ashes, it can be a life fulfilled through the power and strength of God. The God that heals and transforms.
Out of the ashes I rise. I am loved by an amazing God!