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Out of the Ashes

I've been writing  lately about the more positive side of having hopes and dreams.  You know, like we all have dreams, dreams do come true, go after your dreams, your dreams matter.  While all that is true, there is another side to dreams; the all too real and too frequent side of dreams that we each experience at some point in our lives.  The fact is,  probably for every dream that is realized, its likely that there are even more that die.  

We've all experienced the death of a dream(s) in one way or the other.  Hopes we had for accomplishing something, seeing something come to be, or becoming something ourselves. Maybe its a marriage that didn't work out, a business that failed, a vision that was never fulfilled, children that were never born to us or a child that was taken from the earth before our hopes and dreams for that child were realized.  This is the hard, cold reality of the world  we find ourselves in.

I would guess that Jesus's disciples felt as though all of their hopes and dreams were slipping through their fingers as they watched Jesus slowly dying on the cross.  Everything that they had thought was going to happen through Jesus's life was suddenly being lost before their eyes through his death.  It had to be the ultimate let down.  I'm sure the hours following Jesus's death had to be some of the darkest hours in the life of Jesus's friends and followers. Everything that they cared about, this person they trusted, the dream they had for living the Jesus way, was gone.  Or so it seemed. You probably know the rest of the story.

But what I love about the rest of the story is that it speaks to a profound truth.  It's often out of those times when we experience deep, personal loss- when all hope seems gone- that renewal can take place.  The story of Jesus is a story of bringing life to what was dead, hope out of despair, and even beauty out of the ashes of our lives.  Isaiah (61) speaks of what Jesus would one day do and be about.  Its there that the promise is given that the ashes of our lives would one day be replaced with beauty.

I guess I'm thinking about all of this because I recently learned of a deep, personal loss a friend is going through; the loss of dreams on multiple levels. While right now all seems to be lost....ahead, I believe, there is Beauty.

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