Beauty for Ashes: Part 2 - Rebuilding Ancient Ruins
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me for the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor, He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed…They will rebuild the ancient ruins, repairing cities destroyed long ago. They will revive them, though they have been deserted for many generations. (Isa. 61:1-2, 4)
At this moment in time, Isaiah 61 is my absolute favorite. The idea of beauty for ashes and restoration has been a continual theme in my life and I have seen God show up in that way all throughout my story. Recently, however, I was reading something somebody else had written on this chapter and I saw these verses from a perspective I never had before. This chapter opens up by describing how Christ came to bring good news to the poor, to comfort the brokenhearted, to release captives and free prisoners. It then describes how ancient ruins will be rebuilt and cities will be repaired. I never stopped to consider the “who” in that passage.
The “who” is composed of the same demographic as the opening verses: the poor, the brokenhearted, the captives and the prisoners. This simple revelation really drove home the point. God doesn’t use perfect people, He uses restored people.
Our stories, along with our past histories and failures, don’t disqualify us from being used by God in incredible ways. On the contrary, they place us among the redeemed. And God loves to use redeemed and restored people to bring restoration and redemption to places long devastated.
What does this look like? It looks like generational curses being lifted and demolished. It looks like people who have suffered from addiction walking other people along the journey to freedom. It looks like people who grew up in dysfunctional homes having healthy marriages and raising their children in healthy households. God uses the areas of our lives where we were once broken to bring wholeness to the individuals and communities that we influence.
Looking back, I recognize that every person that has made a tremendous impact on my life and my walk with Jesus has walked through incredible seasons of pain and suffering. Yet their stories, served as keys to release me from the shackles of my own trauma.
You are not disqualified. You are not too broken. And your history does not negate the pivotal role you play in God’s story. You have been called and pre-selected by God as a rebuilder, repairer and a reviver. Own your story and change the world.