A while back God inspired me to do something a bit different with a young woman I was taking through the Go in Peace Biblical Discipleship Curriculum. It had such an impact on her that I decided to do the same thing with the ladies at our latest Go in Peace Weekend. As I watched God work in each lady’s life through this wonderful idea I decided to post it as a blog so that I can include it on my Pinterest board: Go in Peace Weekend Ideas. Feel free to share it with any who are using the curriculum or who like to disciple.
For those of you who are reading this blog but are unfamiliar with the curriculum let me share a bit before I get to the new inspired idea. Since holding onto hurt, pain, anger and bitterness can cause a person to feel separated from God it is important to give all of these things to Him to be set free. However, many times when we are told to give these things to God it often seems as if it is just in our imagination. For this reason, I like to teach a tangible way for the person to see their hurt, pain, anger and bitterness rise to God as they give it to Him. This is why when taking a person through the Go in Peace Biblical Discipleship Curriculum I always assign a quiet time with the Lord in which the person is asked to write a letter concerning all the hurt, pain, anger and bitterness, which of course is between them and God only.
After the letter is written, the next step is to offer right sacrifices and trust in the Lord by giving the hurt, pain, anger and bitterness to God once and for all. King David wrote in Psalm 4:4-5:
In your anger do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent. Offer right sacrifices and trust in the Lord (niv).
According to God’s Word, we are not to let the sun go down while we are still anger, and we are to offer right sacrifices and trust in the Lord. This can be done in a practical way by offering the letter as a right sacrifice to God. One of my favorite ways to do this is by burning it in a fireplace. A dear friend of mine once shared that after she burned her letter, she felt the Lord impress the following verse upon her heart:
It is a burnt offering, an offering made by fire, an aroma pleasing to the Lord.
Now for those of you who are currently using the Go in Peace Biblical Discipleship Curriculum you know all this. It’s what we did with the letters after we burnt them that I want to share with you in this blog post.
When the Lord first gave me this idea I was discipling a young woman who I invited to stay with me for a couple of weeks since she lived in another state. I had just cleaned out my fireplace and as a result after she burned her letter the only ashes remaining were hers. It was then that the Lord impressed upon my heart (as a surprise) to go down to the shell shop and buy a small bottle. I was then to tie a label to the bottle with the words—Isaiah 61—and save all her ashes in the bottle. He impressed upon my heart: For I am going make beauty from ashes in her life.
In His perfect timing He had me give the bottle to her, which He actually used to show her the next step in His plan for her life. It truly was a divine moment.
It was so impacting that I wanted to add it to the next Go in Peace Weekend. For this reason, as each woman burned her letter we kept them in separate piles to remember whose was whose. After the ashes cooled we placed them in individual bottles and read Isaiah chapter 61. The bottles are a tangible reminder that God will make beauty from ashes in their lives as well.
I encouraged the women that anytime they begin to think about their painful past instead look to the bottle and remember God’s promise through the prophet Isaiah.
The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for prisoners. . . to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.
For He truly makes everything beautiful in His time! Oh, and I almost forget that the letters in the grieving section—Weeping May Last for the Night—can be burnt and added as well.
I’m looking forward to your comments. Please feel free to share the blog post with your friends or even pin it! And if you are looking for a place to purchase the bottles just click here.