Beauty From Ashes


This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!

- 2 Corinthians 5:17

I’m a HUGE Harry Potter fan. (Any fellow Gryffindors reading this?)

And one of my favorite chapters in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is the chapter where Harry meets Fawkes (Dumbledore’s phoenix) for the first time. At this time in the novel, Fawkes is old and sickly.

Fascinated by this new, magical creature, Harry approaches him.

But suddenly, Fawkes bursts into flames as Dumbledore walks into the room:

“‘Professor,’ Harry gasped, ‘your bird – I couldn’t do anything – he just caught fire –’

To Harry’s astonishment, Dumbledore smiled.

‘About time too,’ he said, ‘he’s been looking dreadful for days, I’ve been telling him to move on.’” (Rowling, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets).

Dumbledore explains, “‘Fawkes is a phoenix, Harry. Phoenixes burst into flames when it is time for them to die and are reborn from the ashes.’”

Everytime I read or think about this chapter, I reflect on my testimony. Because just as Fawkes was reborn from his old ashes, I’ve been reborn from my ashes of sin.

In Isaiah 61:3, Isaiah writes, “To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the Lord has planted for his own glory.”

At one point in my life, I was like Fawkes in the beginning of the chapter—old, decrepit, dying. I was covered in my sin; I was full of darkness; I was lost. And then, one day, I was told I needed to move on—needed to be born again. I was told of a man named Jesus who died on the cross for my sins and wanted to make me new. I was given the opportunity to be reborn.

And because of Jesus’ mercy and grace on someone so unworthy, I burst into flames and was reborn as a daughter of the King.

God took my ashes (my sin), and He refined me. He took my ashes and created something beautiful.

And just as He created beauty from my ashes, He did the same for you, dear friend. You are a masterpiece—a beautiful creation chosen by God—a God who took your ashes and made them beautiful.

Reflection

1. Take a moment to reminisce about the day you were reborn from your ashes. How did that day transform your life?

2. How could you share your story of rebirth with someone today?

Prayer

Abba Father, How can I ever thank You enough for saving my soul? You saw me (a woman so unworthy of Your love), and You bestowed an abundance of grace and mercy upon me. I do not deserve Your love, but I am thankful for it every day. Thank You for taking my ashes and turning them into something beautiful. I pray You give me the opportunity to share Your love with those around me. I love You so much, Abba. Amen.

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