Last week in Relief Society (our class at church), I was able to listen to the best lesson. It was all about the refining fires of trials.

I thought of “beauty for ashes,” one of my very favorite phrases from the poetry of Isaiah. To me it is just so encouraging to think that beauty can come from a wasteland of “ashes” if we are looking. But I hadn’t carefully read the rest of the verse until I was listening to that lesson last Sunday:

I read it out loud and it made me cry. “The oil of joy for mourning,” “the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord”  Isn’t that just the most beautiful language you have ever heard?

As I read, I was thinking about me. And I was thinking of all those people I know who are going through aching and grief and trials on every level.

I guess I translate those beautiful words to mean that our trials and sadness and times that compel us to have faith beyond what we have had before are helping us plant the Lord in our hearts. That “He might be glorified,” which to me means that He will be made known to us. He will become real to us.

I think sometimes it takes other’s “oil of joy” to help us figure it all out, and sometimes it will take a long, long time to see the beauty for the ashes, but with God it is possible.

Sending a little extra love out to those in the trenches today.


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