Beauty for Ashes

by Jonathon McClellan

Pain was essential to my life. I was birthed through pain. It was my mother’s sacrifice which yielded fruit. Without loss there is no life, but what is lost? Certainly, her own body became my vessel; this revealed that the seed of life was inside her: life inside life. When I was born, I was a life in a life still within the biosphere known as Earth. I am composed of the materials found in Earth. When I drink water, I observe rivers in myself. Dirty water in turn pollutes me, so when I hurt the source, I hurt myself. That is not to say that water is my source, but that all life which is connected to water or all life which is in relationship to water is connected.

All pain flows through your river for we all drink from the same source. Do not reject the water because it has pain in it. You need the pain to grow. It will nourish you with wisdom, patience, endurance, a greater appreciation for love, and understanding all the more. These words will not be simple, but everything has a purpose. Without bitterness, would I know sweetness? Without sorrow, would I know joy? Without darkness, would I know light? I know this: that I am who I am not just because of the good experiences, but because of the bad ones also.

When I jumped in the water it was cold, but I learned how to swim. Soon my body adjusted, and the water did not seem cold any longer. It was not the water that changed, but I. The discomfort that I experienced from the cold water was the bridge to swimming. The cold then, was not my enemy, but the door. Likewise, pain is not the enemy, but the doorway to life fully experienced.


Please God, make me wiser. Help me not to resent the pain, but to give thanks in all things with a genuine heartfelt appreciation. Heal my heart Lord and take the sorrow, anger, regret, hatred, bitterness, and all manner of sickness. Turn my weeping into shouts of joy. Let me say, “The Lord has given me beauty for my ashes”. Amen.

Great news! Jonathon McClellan’s new books, Messages of Hope (for adults) and The Ant’s Palace (for kids) is currently available! You can order them from most bookstores, online retailers, or request them from your local library. Rediscover how to hope again and teach your children what true riches are!

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