Beauty from the ashes
Exodus 2: 1-10
2 Now a man from the house of Levi went and married a Levite woman. 2 The woman conceived and bore a son; and when she saw that he was a fine baby, she hid him for three months. 3 When she could hide him no longer she got a papyrus basket for him, and plastered it with bitumen and pitch; she put the child in it and placed it among the reeds on the bank of the river. 4 His sister stood at a distance, to see what would happen to him.
5 The daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the river, while her attendants walked beside the river. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her maid to bring it. 6 When she opened it, she saw the child. He was crying, and she took pity on him. ‘This must be one of the Hebrews’ children,’ she said. 7 Then his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, ‘Shall I go and get you a nurse from the Hebrew women to nurse the child for you?’ 8 Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, ‘Yes.’ So the girl went and called the child’s mother. 9 Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, ‘Take this child and nurse it for me, and I will give you your wages.’ So the woman took the child and nursed it. 10 When the child grew up, she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter, and she took him as her son. She named him Moses, ‘because’, she said, ‘I drew him out of the water.’
Interestingly, the Hebrew word that is used in Exodus 2: 3 for the basket that Moses’ mother placed him in is the same word that is used in Genesis 6: 14 for the ark that God asks Noah to build. In this basket, this ark, God will deliver His people. In this basket, this ark, God will bring salvation.
There will be an end to the suffering…
Augustine at the age of 28 is drowning in grief after the death of a close friend and he wonders what the point of loving is if it causes such pain, especially when those we love die, or might not return the love we have for them and in all of his soul searching Augustine realises that he can only be whole in loving God:
“Turn us, O God of Hurts, show us thy countenance, and we shall be whole. For whithersoever the soul of man turns itself, unless toward Thee, it is riveted upon sorrows, yea though it is riveted on things beautiful.”
And in God he discovers that “there is a place of rest imperturbable, where love is not forsaken, if itself forsaketh not.”
Even in our darkest moments there is beauty to be found, hope among the ashes…
Lord of the darkness,
You can make all things new,
Freedom from slavery,
Life from death,
Beauty from ashes,
I offer you my pain,
My losses and regrets…
Trusting that You will form them into something new,
Restored and beautiful
And bringing glory to you.