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.

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