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Out of Ashes, Hope

People aren’t like possessions. Even when we’re tattered, we’re of value to the Lord.

Hope and faith

Samuel meets me at the door.

“Mom,” he says. “I’m disappointed. I’m feeling bad.”

I set a bag of groceries on the counter as my mind runs wild. I wonder what’s happened to cause the sad that’s settled on my son’s face.

“Tell me?” I ask.

He doesn’t say a word. Instead he opens his palms. Inside are scraps of leather. Wet. Tattered. Torn.

“What?” I ask.

But before he can answer, I understand. There’s a telltale sign – a shred of leather with stitching and a well-worn clasp. It’s Samuel’s wallet. His prized possession. He bought it with babysitting money.

“It’s from the late 1800’s,” Sam had said the day he’d found it in an antique store. The day he’d come home with a smile that beamed joy.

“I’m so sorry,” I say. “Was it the washing machine?”

Samuel nods.

There’s been a price to his morning chore.


As the day moves on, I’m surprised by how Sam’s loss saddens me. We’re not big on possessions. The wallet was just “a thing”. But it meant something to Samuel–so it means something to me. The wallet was unique. Something that can’t be replaced or restored. It went into the trash basket under the kitchen counter.

I carry this loss in my thoughts, wear it on my heart, and it’s almost evening when the revelation comes.

People aren’t like possessions. Even when we’re tattered, we’re of value to the Lord.

What a beautiful truth. In our fallen world, there is plenty of room for brokenness. Yet there is hope and promise in Him.

The Lord lifts the poor from the dirt. He takes the helpless from the ashes. (Psalm 113:7, ICB)

Dirt. It’s what’s left after things are broken down. Ashes. It’s what’s left after fire. Sometimes, knee-deep in a struggle, we can feel like we’re standing in ruins and remains. I’ve felt this a bit recently as a hardship has gone long. Sometimes it feels like we’re standing in muck and mire.

But the Lord doesn’t leave us in the grit of hopelessness.

In compassion and mercy, He lifts us out.

Can you imagine?

The Lord offering His own hand as a lifeline. The Lord pulling us from destruction to hold us in His own palm.

This promise changes everything.

A day later, Sam feels better about the wallet. He wishes he’d checked his pockets. He wishes he could carry this whisper of history into his own.

But he’ll be okay.

So will you and I, as believers, as we work through tough times.

God doesn’t leave us in rubbish.

He lifts us from the ashes.

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