It's an ongoing lesson many of us find difficult to learn. Perhaps the reason is because we focus on our circumstances instead of the promises. Ultimately, our faith informs us that bad things turn into good… tragedy morphs into blessing… loss into gain… sorrow into joy, but the process as we are learning to surrender to this priceless lesson can be awkward.

God is magnificently good, and extraordinarily competent, at turning ashes into beauty.

The image you observe in this post, is my flaking skin from a gnarly rash of unknown origin that has been plaguing my face and neck for about 6 weeks. It looks and feels like a burn. Underneath the raw and brittle skin is unparalleled itching you cannot satisfy lest you become a bloody mess. Filled with fluid, one eyelid was puffed and pulled upwards and I could only squint to see.

I've applied all manner of creams but their help has been limited and less than optimum. After applying one remedy the rash seemed to dry up a bit and huge flakes of skin formed: a sight that will be denied public exposure. I decided to flick some of it off, take a picture, and then, make it artistic.

Ecclesiates 3:11 says, "He makes everything beautiful in its time." And, even though I did the "photo-manipulation" of my "unbeautiful" dead dermis, the image changed my mind set - transformed my thought process - made it possible to view something consider harmful or ugly, as beautiful and profitable.

Agave Nectar comes from a cacti and is used as a sweetener. When processed correctly, it is even useful for people with unstable blood sugar issues as it is utilized in the lower intestine instead of in the pancreas. This same cacti, called Maguey Complicata (translated: complicated, tricky) also contains seeds that are prized for turning into flour & thickeners; a stalk that can be roasted and eaten; and fibres that can be made into ropes or mats. But, if you happen to chop into it carelessly, and get some of it's juicy pulp on your skin, it can be dreadfully painful. Some life lessons are tucked in there for our edification.

May God Himself, make every sorrow in your life, turn into joy…and every occasion one for training your heart and your hands to overcome.


The Underside

The luxurious grand view seen on the topside of a woven tapestry is polished. The underside – the unkempt loose ends remind us of the circumstances of our lives – exposes the disheveled, crumpled view. This is the perspective we hide from others, yet it is the choicest part: the broken places our pride sequesters, keeping us enslaved - yoked to an unrelenting taskmaster. It is the part worn from sorrow and joy, struggle and sacrifice, conflict and understanding, mystery and revelation.

To glimpse this side is to embrace its unprecedented significance. But first, we must expunge the interlopers who bind us to destruction instead of releasing us to abundance. 

We must fortify and yield to our refuge in whose streams, water flows.  

© Liza K. Christian


Seasons Ask • Seasons Answer
For we are God's own handiwork - his workmanship,
Recreated in Christ Jesus – born anew
That we may do those good works
Which God predestined - planned beforehand - for us
Taking paths which He prepared ahead of time,
That we should walk in them…
Living the good life which
He prearranged and made ready for us to live.

~ Eph 2:10