restoration, healing, beautiful, beauty, create, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry

Restoration: Allowing The Lord to Heal Our Brokenness with Beauty

When we hand over the broken pieces of our hearts to the Lord, we can expect restoration. We emerge from His mending with even greater beauty and value.



A few years ago, I found myself in one of the most lovely places I’ve ever seen: Duck, North Carolina. A tiny barrier island at the northernmost tip of the Outer Banks, Duck is nestled between the peaceful sound on one side and the mighty ocean on the other. It was such a blessing to spend a week in this coastal paradise.

I made the trip with a group of eight close friends who were walking intimately with the Lord and with one another. One of the women in our group had a friend who owned this gorgeous beach house, and she allowed us to use her home for our annual girls’ getaway.

The place was palatial! Beautiful balconies off of each bedroom provided perfect perches for sipping coffee and savoring quiet time in the bright morning sun. Sprawling wrap around decks with rocking chairs and hammocks offered comfy spots for leisurely reading or napping in the afternoon shade.

The rooftop deck invited early evening musings as we took in stunning sunsets over the ocean. And incredible waterfront views on every side lent a picturesque backdrop for sweet conversations or time alone with the Lord.

When we hand over the broken pieces of our hearts to the Lord, we can expect restoration. We emerge from His mending with even greater beauty and value. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #beauty #healing #create #restore

A Sisterhood of Believers

In this place, we were surrounded by such magnificent beauty; yet each one of us had brought broken pieces of our hearts that needed mending. (For the sake of anonymity, I will not use my friends’ real names).

Nancy’s husband had been in and out of the hospital for over a year with repeated major surgeries and life-threatening infections. Rosalynn’s daughter was struggling with anxiety and other mental health issues. Sara’s husband had a severe health problem that forced him to indefinitely halt his career as a commercial airline pilot. She was also heartbroken over her son’s battle with alcohol and drug addiction.

Ana was dealing with severe exhaustion from issues related to her diabetes. I was in the middle of a very deep financial wilderness season where I could barely keep my kids fed and a roof over our heads.

Each one of us had arrived with so much brokenness, suffering, and strife. Our hearts longed for restoration and peace. Throughout that week, the Lord refreshed our souls with the natural beauty of the island. He comforted our hearts with the sweet fellowship of this sisterhood of believers.

Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.

1 Thessalonians 5:11

Three Artists

One of our dear friends almost didn’t make the trip. The previous year, Mary had suffered a tragic loss in her family–a loss involving the ocean. Reeling from the emotional aftershocks of the incident, Mary was still trying to find her bearings. She was not sure if her heart could handle returning to the sea. Shortly before we left for the trip, however, the Lord gave Mary the courage to go.

One afternoon, I was standing in the kitchen visiting with Mary and Sara. To set this up properly, I should mention that–in very different ways–all three of us are artists. Mary is an amazingly gifted painter, Sara is a wonderful poet, and I am a songwriter. As the three of us gathered around that kitchen island, the Lord did something beautiful for our broken artist hearts. He gave us a glimpse of the tender beauty and care that He so lovingly uses to mend the hearts of His beloved daughters.

He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.

Psalm 147:3

A Poem…

Sara had brought a poem that she wanted to share with Mary. The piece described the Japanese art of Kintsugi, which means “golden joinery or repair.” This ancient art form involves the restoration of broken pottery with a lacquer that’s mixed with powdered gold. The resulting pieces–the mended vessels–hold even greater beauty and value than the originals.

As Sara recited the sweet poem, we beheld a beautiful depiction of the way the Lord heals our hearts. Just like the Kintsugi artisans, He carefully considers and deftly handles each delicate and fragile shard. And with His loving touch, He gently puts us back together again. Restoring us, He fills our seams and our scars with something even more precious than gold–His love is the bond that makes us whole. Under His master hand, we emerge even stronger and more beautiful for the mending.

But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.

Job 23:10

Restoring us, God fills our seams and our scars with something even more precious than gold–His love is the bond that makes us whole. We emerge even stronger and more beautiful for the mending. Click To Tweet

A Painting

As Sara finished reading the poem, Mary was in tears. Mary shared how she had just returned from a long walk on the beach with the Lord. She had been so reluctant to return to this place of such heartbreak and loss. Yet the Lord–in His tender and merciful way–had softly touched her heart by opening her eyes to the beauty surrounding her.

As she took each step on the soft sand, He guided her gaze to a new colorful sight. Each one contained uniquely beautiful tones and hues. The soft pinks and subtle blues of the seashells were like watercolors. Puffs of white foam on the grey sand strewn with black sea bark–a black and white rendering. Stark streaks of marigold and turquoise across the sky–a bold acrylic abstract. Wisps of bright green sea grass gently waving from the breezy dunes–a simple yet alluring landscape scene.

Like a palate resting on her arm as she made brushstrokes on her canvas, this natural array of color offered new creative possibilities. Her Creator was reawakening her painter’s heart. All of this splendor was right there in front of her, on magnificent display.

Through the beauty of this simple seaside setting, the Lord was showing His beloved daughter one of His most treasured works. It was not the physical scenery that lay before her–it was her very own heart. She was a daughter after His own heart. A painter, gifted and trained by the Master. And she was His masterpiece.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Ephesians 2:10

A Song

As Mary finished sharing, I almost couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Earlier that day, the Lord had taken me on a similar journey on the beach, and He was speaking to me through all the broken seashells along the shore.

I had been pouring out my heart to Him. Desperately seeking peace and assurance that my family would survive this wilderness season of deep hardship and lack. And as He often does, He brought me solace through the lyrics of a new song. I sang it there in the kitchen for my friends, as I knew it was meant not only for me but for their hearts as well. It’s called Broken Seashells:

Broken seashells, on the seashore: works of art, strewn in the sand.

In this masterpiece, He has created, even the refuse is grand. O even the refuse is grand.

We all long for beauty, the desire’s built in.

Made to reflect His glory, we’re hewn by a master hand. Yes we’re hewn by our Master’s hand.

With a blueprint on every fingertip, and a light in every eye,

a love in each heart, and a story to live by. It’s His story we live by.

We all long for meaning, for a purpose within.

Made to trust His leading, and follow a master plan. Yes we follow our Master’s plan.

With a blueprint on every fingertip, and a light in every eye,

a love in each heart, and a story to live by. It’s His story we live by.

Broken people, on the seashore: works of art strewn in the sand.

In this masterpiece, He has created, even the refuse is grand. Yes, even the refuse is grand.

Broken seashells, on the seashore…

Hope Anderson, “Broken Seashells”

Restoration

So the Lord used a poem, a painting, and a song to bring restoration to our hearts. And although not every wound was completely healed in that week, He touched our hearts in such beautifully unique ways that we could not deny the goodness of our Creator.

What has the Lord used to bring restoration to your broken heart? Do you know that your heart contains the bonds of His love, which is far more precious than pure gold?

When we hand over the broken pieces of our hearts to the Lord, we can expect restoration. We emerge from His mending with even greater beauty and value. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #beauty #healing #create #restore

unsplash-logoOlivier Mesnage
All scriptures are from The King James Version of The Bible.
creation, creative, create, gift, salvation, worship, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry

Gift: Remembering the Intricate Work of God’s Hands

Our human hands can create such beautiful things. But nothing compares to the intricate work of God’s hands or His beautiful gift of salvation.



I have made the earth and created humans on it. It was my hands that stretched out the heavens, and I commanded everything in them. 

Isaiah 45:12, CSB

I am amazed by what our human hands can invent, create, build, design, craft, and even restore. Our hands have the ability to do so many wonderful things. It blows my mind how a surgeon’s hands can heal the inside of someone’s body.

I’m speechless when I see a piece of architecture beautifully designed and brought into existence by human hands. It’s truly an incredible gift to have the unique capability to use our hands to create things that bring us joy, comfort, and help.

Our human hands can create such beautiful things. But nothing compares to the intricate work of God's hands or His beautiful gift of salvation. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #create #creation #gift #salvation

God’s Hands Create

With all these amazing things our human hands can muster up, some things remain untouched by our hands. The planets and stars in the universe, the oceans, the mountains, and the spirit inside of us are just a few examples.

 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Genesis 1:1, CSB

This allows us to know that we, and the beautiful world around us, were handcrafted by our Creator. God’s hands have done a perfect work and He alone has accomplished it all.

We are creatures made to create just like our Creator. Whether we use our hands to produce art, write, farm, build, craft, sculpt, dig, fix, measure, or sew. No matter what we choose to do with our hands, we still are unable to create EVERYTHING! Why do you think God designed it this way? I personally think He did this to show that He is in complete control.

Making Idols

When we marvel at the works of our own hands, we can easily idolize and forget where our ability to create came from.  

Their land is full of idols, they worship the work of their hands, what their fingers have made.

Isaiah 2:8, CSB (emphasis added)

God sees all, knows all, and creates all. He knows when we forget where our abilities came from. And He calls us out when we do. As God’s people, we are called to understand His divine mystery behind creation. Simply by acknowledging at our highest intelligence, we still cannot create the heavens, the earth, or even the stars in the sky.

Safe Hands

The hands God gave us, create many good and useful things. They also create many evil and sinful things. Satan will use his deceiving, sneaky hands to tempt us with sin. He corrupts our minds and hearts faster than we can blink. This deception begins chasing after us the moment we’re born. We, as God’s children, are not immune to Satan’s conniving schemes. We are very much prone to wander as the hymn suggests. 

As Children of God, we must be aware of this and do whatever seems necessary to keep ourselves from falling into Satan’s trap. Satan’s hands, like our own, were created by God. I know, kinda mind-boggling isn’t it?

Many people, including myself, at one point or another, have wondered why God allowed the devil to even come into existence. This is such a good question that requires much knowledge and wisdom to comprehend. We can’t expect to understand the answer to this without seeking to know who God is first.

To know God is to know His son, Jesus Christ. If you want to get to know anyone better, then you need to establish a relationship with them, right? Otherwise, how will you learn who they truly are? We are incapable of understanding these profound mysteries we crave to know, without establishing a relationship with Jesus. Holding hands with Jesus is the only way we can stay safe against the devil and his demons.

I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand.

John 10:28, CSB

Hands that Heal

There is a story I love in the Bible that is found in John 9. Jesus bends down to use his hands to spit and stir up the dirt to create a substance that would heal the sight of a blind man. Just like the blind man in the story, we have been blind in our lives.

We need a Savior’s hands to wipe us clean so we can see HIS way instead of our own. Jesus didn’t use clean water to heal the blind man; He used mud in the ground that was made from His spit! I believe He did this to show His followers that He, and only He, has the ability to use our filthy sin and make something good come from it.

The Gift

I was once dead in my trespasses and now I am alive in Christ. My guilt and shame are the very things Jesus used to humble and restore me. When I was confronted with my sin, I immediately became aware of my need for Jesus.

Jesus was sent to us from God as a precious gift for us to observe and follow. He is the example and role model we are supposed to seek in order to understand how to navigate this life correctly. Without Jesus, we go through life blindfolded, having to feel our way through with our own hands.

My hand made all these things, and so they all came into being. This is the Lord’s declaration. I will look favorably on this kind of person: one who is humble, submissive in spirit, and trembles at my word.

Isaiah 66:2, CSB

Jesus’ Hands Paid The Price

Creation is a magnificent use of God’s hands. But the most amazing use of God’s hands is found on that rugged cross. Jesus’ hands were nailed to the cross so ALL would see! The same hands that healed the blind and calmed the storms are the very same hands put on full display to show God’s love, grace, mercy, forgiveness, and good news.

Oh, but we serve an even greater God than this! His love didn’t stop there; It went all the way to the grave where Jesus resurrects from the dead to reveal the very same holes in his hands from that historical day. What better use of His hands? God made a way for His children to find the light in a dark world that separates us from Him. I can’t think of anything better! The love God has for His children is always seen in His hands…

The same hands that calmed the storms are the very same hands put on full display to show God’s love, grace, mercy, forgiveness, and good news. Oh, we serve a great God! His love went all the way to the grave for us. Click To Tweet

Lift Up Your Hands

God’s hands hold us when we are crying.

His hands mend our broken hearts and restore our souls.

God’s hands heal us and save us from Hell.

His hands mark the starting point to where our salvation is found.

Today believer, I implore you, to lift up those beautiful, hardworking, helpful, creative, useful hands of yours and worship in awe our Glorious God above! Let’s fold our hands in prayer and thank Him for the wounds His hands endured so we could have the gift of everlasting life with Him. This is the best gift we will ever receive… Hands down!!!

With Folded Hands, I Pray

Oh Lord Help Me to see that your hands are not my own. Help me to use my hands in a way that will glorify you and make your name be known. Teach me to follow Jesus in all my ways and seek to know Him more.

Thank you for the sacrifice your hands endured for me upon the cross. I am so undeserving of this free gift of salvation, but I receive it with a full and thankful heart.

Help guide me Lord to show love, grace, mercy, and forgiveness with my own two hands the way you did with yours. I lift up my hands today and surrender my life into your hands, God. In Jesus’ name, I pray.  Amen.

Our human hands can create such beautiful things. But nothing compares to the intricate work of God's hands or His beautiful gift of salvation. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #create #creation #gift #salvation
Amaury Salas

self, focus, God's will, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry

Self: Shifting Our Focus from Ourselves to Christ in Us

Shifting our focus from ourselves to Christ, we die to self and live for Him. Alive in Christ, we reach the fullest expression of who He created us to be. 



Recently I received an email from a friend who asked me two very simple yet thought-provoking questions. She was writing a talk for an upcoming couples’ retreat and wanted to hear from the hearts of women closest to her.

Her first question was: “What does your heart long for?” And the other was: “At your core, what do you desire?” As I considered her questions, I realized how my answers have changed from what they once would have been. My responses signaled a shift in focus–from a limited self-focus to a greater awareness of Christ, who is living in me.

Shifting our focus from ourselves to Christ, we die to self and live for Him. Alive in Christ, we reach the fullest expression of who He created us to be. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional

Self-Focused…

As a new believer, I probably would have responded to my friend’s questions very differently than I would today. I might have said that my heart longed for love. That my desire was to have a successful career as a singer/songwriter. While there is nothing intrinsically wrong with either of these responses, they are entirely self-focused. Me-centered. I needed to know that I was loved and that I was accomplishing things with the gifts the Lord had given me. Honest answers, yes. Selfish answers? Also, yes.

But as I responded to my friend, I said that my deepest desire is to experience being fully loved by my Father so that I can love others how He loves: unconditionally. It’s no longer enough for me to simply receive His love. I want to be so filled to overflowing with it, that when others are with me, they experience His love through me. Thus, the Lord is shifting my focus away from myself. Away from primarily considering my own needs and desires. And He’s redirecting my gaze toward Him. He’s teaching me what’s most important: that He is living in me.

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Galatians 2:20

My Gifts?

My response to my friend’s next question about desire revealed a similar shift in focus. I replied: “At my core, I desire to create (songs, writings, jewelry, recipes, spaces…) that reflect the beauty that the Lord has given us. I want His beauty to shine through the work of my hands. For it to resonate from the song on my lips.” What was once an honest yet somewhat selfish desire-to get to do the things I love to do creatively-has changed.

I’ve realized that I really have nothing creatively to offer in and of myself. I am only creative to the extent that I recognize from whence my gifts come: from the Creator Himself. So in essence, they aren’t even my gifts. They are His gifts, to me, for others. And He doesn’t give His children creative gifts so that we can run away from Him to go make a name for ourselves. His desire is for us to stay close to Him. To heed the calling He has given us. And to make creative contributions to this world so that He is glorified.

Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power: That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Thessalonians 1:11-12

A Self-Obsessed World…

What the Lord calls us to do looks drastically different than what the world wants from us. The world is self-obsessed. Everywhere we look, there are books about self-love. Reminders that we need to practice self-care. Encouragements to pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps and be self-sufficient. Invitations to take selfies and plaster them all over our personalized social media pages. Sorting through all of this, we can become overly self-conscious. We might lack self-confidence. Fall prey to self-doubt. Feeling like we don’t measure up, we can tend toward self-hatred.

Interestingly, thousands of years ago, Paul wrote to Timothy describing how in the “perilous” last days, we would be caught in this cycle of self-destruction:

For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy.

2 Timothy 3:2

But all of this self-exploration is a chasing after the wind. Because until we are grounded in I Am, we will never be able to make sense of ourselves. Much less create anything of worth. We must die to ourselves and be hidden in Christ (Colossians 3:3). But if we’re not careful, this process can get twisted.

All of this self-exploration is a chasing after the wind. Until we are grounded in I Am, we will never be able to make sense of ourselves. Click To Tweet

Twisting…

The way the world frames the notion of ‘dying to self’ is soul-killing. To the world, if you follow Christ, you will lose your precious personal identity. This carnal perspective claims that dying to self-means sacrificing our self-expression.

And the enemy warns us: “If you follow Christ, you won’t get to pursue the deepest desires of your heart or do the things that make you come alive.” Carnally minded believers might even encourage you to squelch your deepest desires in lieu of serving others. Don’t piddle your time away painting that painting when you could be dutifully sweeping the floors of the fellowship hall!

But this kind of twisting is of the enemy. Thank God, the Lord is not in the business of twisting, but of shifting. He shifts our gaze away from ourselves toward Him. And when we focus on Him, we learn who He truly is and what He actually desires for us. When we’re in right standing with Him, our deepest desires tend to align perfectly with what He is calling us to do.

A Paradox of Life and Death…

The world will never understand this paradox because it can only be spiritually discerned. But when we completely die to ourselves and allow Christ to fully live in us, we come alive. And when we’re alive in Him, we are able to reach the fullest expression of who the Lord has uniquely fashioned us to be. When we surrender our self-will to His will, we find that the results and the rewards are far greater than we ever could have arranged for ourselves. When we die to self and live in Him, He fully equips us to accomplish our deepest desires which He ordained for us.

Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.

John 12:24

Beloved, when we are no longer living for ourselves but for Christ, we can begin to grasp what Paul meant when we wrote:

For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

Philippians 1:21

Have you made a shift, from yourself to Christ in you? Have you died to yourself and come alive in Him?

Shifting our focus from ourselves to Christ, we die to self and live for Him. Alive in Christ, we reach the fullest expression of who He created us to be. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional

All scripture references are from The King James Version of The Bible