Our church’s Music Worship Team wrote a song “Fighting for Beauty” which has a line about beauty coming up from the ashes. We all are a work of beauty, although many of us feel like we are living in the ashes of the world or our life. God created us to love and be loved. When we fight to focus on God’s love and mercy for us, we can be made a new creation out of the ashes.
I was thinking about the song “Fighting for Beauty” as I started refinishing a table I had in my classroom. I used tables and chairs in my classroom instead of desks to support collaborative learning and give students a feel of what it is like to work in the real world. Plus, the tables and chairs were more comfortable and less institutional feeling. To find tables and chairs for my classroom, I would search on Facebook Marketplace for cheap sets. I didn’t care if the dog chewed the legs or nail polish was spilled on the tabletop, my students would do just as much damage to the furniture. These tables and chairs were meant for function not beauty. One of the tables I bought had been painted without the surface being properly prepared, so the paint started to peel and one of my students decided to help. So, the table came home to be refinished.
This table is a great example of us and our relationship with God. We need to prepare our hearts to receive God’s love and mercy. We can’t just say we are going to follow the teachings of Jesus and not know what that means. We need to study the scriptures and learn what God is telling us to guide us to a deep relationship with Him. Being involved in a church to be among others who believe and are working on growing their faith is one part of our faith journey. Jesus came to break down the walls that separated us from that deep relationship. When our hearts are open to accept this love, great things will happen. Preparation is a key part to any relationship. When a table isn’t properly prepared to hold paint it will peel off, just like an unprepared heart will let God’s love and mercy slip away.
As I work on stripping away the layers of paint from the side of the tabletop, beautiful woodworking is being discovered. I could see a pattern through the paint, but the natural wood is so much more than I thought was there. When we let Jesus help us scrap away the layers of sin from our hearts, He will reveal the beauty within us. The chorus in the song goes:
“Up from the ashes, fighting for beauty,
just as you came to rescue me.
Handing out crowns to those who are mourning,
saying to the captives be free.
You are free.”
As I strip away the paint on the table, I am freeing a woodworker’s beauty they created. When I let Jesus hold my heart, He strips away the feelings of unworthiness, envy, not being good enough, past sins, and anything else that is trying to keep me from a relationship with Him. Being in relationship with Christ doesn’t mean we won’t have struggles, it just means the struggles will be lighter and easier to get through when we lean into Him. Even in the mists of struggles we can feel free. Let Christ create beauty from your ashes.
FP Worship – “Fighting for Beauty” – can be found on iTunes, along other great songs by FP Worship.