Friday, November 22, 2013

Garment of Praise

I just finished reading in the book of Isaiah, Chapter 61 focusing on verse 3: "...and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor." I am very familiar with this chapter and verse, but today was one of those times when reading and meditating on God's Word that this verse just leaped out at me. I think it's because I am still having hard days due to my mom's death almost 4 months ago. Some days I seem to be fine and other days I still mourn losing her. This is not to say that I don't know where she is now and rejoice that she is happy and free and joyous in the presence of the Lord she served for so many years; just that it is hard not having her here anymore.

Aren't you thankful that the Lord gives us a crown of beauty for ashes? I'm glad for the oil of joy that replaces and will continue to replace my mourning. And I REALLY like wearing a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair ~ thank You, Jesus! As I was reading this verse, in my mind I was putting on this garment and praising our Lord. The more I praised Him the more I felt His loving and healing touch. Did I feel like praising? No! But we do not go by our feelings, we do as the Bible tells us to do and I was told in God's Word to put on the garment of praise this morning. I plan on wearing it all day today and with His help I'll put it on again in the morning. 

I like the idea of being an Oak of Righteousness. My righteousness is through my Lord and I want to be as solid as an oak tree.  And just imagine being a planting of the Lord "for the display of His splendor."  How incredibly awesome is that!  I pray that every day, in every way, in every person I encounter and in every conversation I have, I will be a conduit for God's splendor.  Lord, let it be.