I read this in my morning devotion this morning and thought it connected well with what I wrote yesterday. I thought it was worth passing along.
Parts of Isaiah 61:
And release from darkness for the prisoners
To procliam the year of the Lord's favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn
And provide for those who grieve
to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes
"No wonder so many of us don't even know if we'll make it. The burdens are great. The load is heavy. And yet, for the believer, Jesus offers what we can't even conceive: a garment of praise. Praise comes to our hearts only as we allow Him to trade our despair for His hope."
"Redemption is when God takes something that seems to have no value or even seems to be a liability and exchanges it for something beautiful. To receive a vase of flowers in exchange for a paper coupon seems like more than we deserve. To become a woman of righteousness and splendor after a lifetime of defeats, scars, and sin seems impossible and beyond anything we could ever deserve. He willingly takes a sack of ashes in exchange for a crown of beauty."
"Gifts that we don't deserve are called grace. Accept His willingness to exchange His good for your weakness as a gift of grace. Stop trying to deserve God and just receive His goodness and mercy."
~Angela Thomas. Do You think I'm Beautiful?. Life Way Press. 2007, 2009.