bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord
the display of his splendor.
There have been days that I have been in mourning due to my own sin.
There have been days of mourning from the sins of others.
I spent nights on the floor, weeping, broken & desperate to be held by Jesus.
Other nights anxiety made me physically sick.
I would read promises like Isaiah 61 & wonder when they would come true.
Or think maybe they were simply ancient poetry.
Or perhaps I wasn’t “favored” enough by God to be given these things.
Only when I stopped looking for Jesus in a rushing wind from heaven did I see the reality of these promises in my life.
My crown of beauty was given to me in the shared experiences of beautiful godly women leaking the grace of Jesus.
My oil of gladness came through the tears & long embraces of sisters who cling faithfully to the victory & justice of the cross.
My garment of praise came as the ability to laugh & awe. Listen & empathize.
The strength of an oak tree was countless friends like, Paige, Lissy, Angie, Hannah & Brandon who rooted me in the Father with love & compassion so I could get off the floor and display the Lord’s splendor.
I’ve learned, sometimes we’re so focused on renewal from the sky that we forget God is working on the ground.
Jesus is in the embraces. The moments where words fall short. The everyday struggle to get up and go to the store. The very people sitting beside you. The doctor’s diagnosis/prescriptions. The gut-wrenching conversations & tearful stares from across a table.
And when you finally realize the blessings of Isaiah 61 all around you, you’ll see Jesus all around you too. It’s one of the most beautifully real things you’ll experience this side of heaven!
Take hold of the renewal right in front of you, and stand in the daily victories!
Look around, what has God given you?…it might be just across a table.