Encouragement, Faithfulness of God

Beauty For Ashes

I sat in the doctor’s cabin with my daughter Jennie in my arms and an expectation in my heart that the doctor we were meeting may suggest some better treatment plan for her. After all, he was the expert, a well-experienced and renowned Neuro physician in the state. It had taken a lot of effort to reach him and get the appointment which seemed difficult to get initially.

“Jennie Livingston – No. 7” was the call from the hospital staff and I rushed carrying her in my arms, adjusting my mask and holding her previous reports in my hand to see the doctor I was keen to meet.

He sat in the glass cabin and I sat a few meters away wondering what is he going to say. He read her reports, asked about the medicine she is taking at present and said to increase her seizure medicine’s level from 1.25ml to 1.50ml. I tried explaining to him her challenges but with just one sentence, he gave me the answer: “Nothing can be done. It’s due to her brain issue she has all these problems.” I still waited for him to say something hopeful, something assuring for her or some good treatment which will bring change in her but before I say anything else, he closed her file and rang the bell for the next patient to come in.

For him, Jennie was just one among the hundreds of patients waiting for him outside his cabin. As per his knowledge, she had suffered irreversible brain damage. There was nothing much he could do much for her. She was just a patient for him who was diagnosed with West Syndrome, global developmental delays, mitochondrial cytopathy and severe disability. 

But for me, Jennie was my child. I loved her, I cried for her, I spent countless nights caring for her, my heart pained for her and all I wanted for her was to be healthy, happy and unconfined from her challenges. I have seen her smile when I tickle her, I have seen her respond to my love and I know she feels, hears and responds to me. For me she was not a patient with a number of diagnoses. She was my baby.

I saw her life as precious and dear to me unlike the doctor who could only see the facts about her body and come to the conclusion that nothing much can be done in her case. He could only see her life through the facts of her medical reports and his years of experience but I saw her life through faith and my love for her.

This incident brought a thought to my mind: No matter how challenging our life looks, no matter how dismayed we feel about ourselves, no matter how impossible the situation is, no matter what the facts say, or no matter what people says or no matter even if the world gives up on us, God always looks at our lives as precious and dear to Him. Even if we feel nothing much can be done, He never does. Because He loves us, because He made a greater sacrifice for us, because we are His children, because we are precious to Him and because all He wants for us is to be joyful and abiding in His love and blessings.

Doctor’s words didn’t hurt me but gave me a new perspective to look at Jennie as God sees her. She is precious and dear to Him. He looks at her out His love for her and He is able to bring beauty out of the ashes of her grim situation and the challenging facts of her diagnosis.

I don’t know which impossible situation you are facing or which hurting facts of life are rattling your mind. Possibly, you are not able to see anything promising or life-giving in your current situation. The facts may seem heart-wrenching and shocking at the moment but God sees your life in a different way. He sees your life out of His love for you.

He assures us that He is able to give us beauty for ashes. He is able to turn our mourning into joy and He is able to bring forth life from death.

Before I conclude, I want to share a story of a famous artist named Michelangelo.

One day, he was standing in front of a huge, unattractive piece of rock. With his hammer and chisel, he was working on the rock, in the beginning stages of sculpting it into a piece of art. He knew it was going to be a long, drawn-out process.

Somebody came along and said, “what are you doing wasting your time working on that ugly piece of rock?”

Michelangelo said, “I see a beautiful angel trapped in this rock, and I am doing my best to let him out.”

The master artist saw something that other people couldn’t see. That’s exactly how God see our lives: beautiful, precious and dear to Him. He sees them through His love despite the dreadful facts and impossible situations. And He is able to bring beauty out of them!

2 thoughts on “Beauty For Ashes”

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