Eating Ashes

Eating Ashes


I worked with a lady who had such a bitter, unforgiving heart. Her daughter had been molested years before, yet when talking to this woman, you would have thought it was a very recent occurrence. By listening to her, you could tell that she was rehashing every sordid detail on a frequent basis.


When I tried to talk to her about how God wanted to heal the hurts in her heart, if only she would forgive, I saw fire in her eyes. She looked like a crazed madman. It was scary and sad at the same time. I tired to explain to her that forgiveness was for her own good, not the offender’s. She had held onto this bitterness for so long that a bitter root sprung up, snaring her in a mighty stronghold. (Hebrews 12:15) It had mastered her. (II Peter 2:19)


She reminds me of the person in Isaiah 44:20 who fed on ashes, letting a deluded heart lead her. She was unable to save herself, not able to see that the bitter hurts she clung to were a lie. She was convinced that she could never forgive the man who touched her daughter. Yet God said that all things are possible with Him. (Luke 1:37) Not only did she fail to see that she could forgive, with God’s help, she also failed to see that forgiveness is a choice, not a feeling. When Jesus hung on the cross, I doubt that He felt like forgiving. I would imagine that He felt like climbing down from that old rugged cross. Instead, He chose to stay there because He knew at the end, it would be worth every ounce of pain.


Dear sister, perhaps you have been feeding on ashes, believing that nothing can change. Maybe you need to forgive someone, but you are also holding on to a lie that tells you it is not possible.


Isaiah 44:21-23 says that God has not forgotten you. He wants you to turn to Him so that He can heal you and display His glory in you.


Instead of eating ashes, turn them over to the Father and let Him give you beauty for your ashes. (Isaiah 61:3)

© 2006, Stacy R. Miller



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