THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD GOD IS UPON ME; BECAUSE THE LORD HATH ANOINTED ME TO PREACH GOOD TIDINGS UNTO THE MEEK; HE HATH SENT ME TO BIND UP THE BROKENHEARTED, TO PROCLAIM LIBERTY TO THE CAPTIVES, AND THE OPENING OF THE PRISON TO THEM THAT ARE BOUND…TO APPOINT UNTO THEM THAT MOURN IN ZION, TO GIVE UNTO THEM BEAUTY FOR ASHES, 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, THAT HE MIGHT BE GLORIFIED
After my daddy died, it felt like I stepped over a line into a different world where I did not belong. I transferred from a world filled with bright, warm sunshine to a cold underground cave, filled with dreary darkness. On the one side of the line, where my daddy used to live, there was light, life, and love. There was color. But, on the other side of the line was the abandoned life, filled with condemnation, shame, and rejection. Here, there was no life…no love…no light. Here, there was only desolate suffering…anguish…death. The ground was barren. Nothing grew here. What could possibly grow in a pitch dark world where the rocky soil was cut off from all light, life, and love?
Then, one day, God showed me His Perspective of my desperate world. How surprised I was when, there, in the barren soil, where nothing ever grew, stood a tree—a beautiful, tall, sturdy, healthy, green tree. It was the Tree of Righteousness. God showed me that this tree only grew under severe conditions of agony and anguish. It did not grow in warm, bright sunshine like all the other trees, where there were Light, Love, and Life. No, this tree grew painstakingly slowly, in dark, desolate places, from a seed of suffering. In order for this seed of suffering to grow into a beautiful tree, it had to be watered with a consistent drop of obedient surrender, moment-by-moment, every day.
I am that seed. For all my obedient surrendering during my suffering, I have received an exchange: Beauty for ashes, the Oil of Joy for my mourning, the Garment of Praise for my spirit of heaviness, that I might become a Tree of Righteousness, the Planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified. What a revelation!
Are you going through a difficult time of doom, dread, and despair? Hang in there. Your seed of suffering is growing into a beautiful Tree of Righteousness through your obedient surrender to God.
PRAYER: Lord my God, thank you that You have not forsaken me. Thank you that You give me Beauty for ashes, the Oil of Joy for my mourning, the Garment of Praise for the spirit of heaviness; that I might be called a Tree of Righteousness, the Planting of the Lord, that You might be glorified.
Maintain an Awareness
Discipline, the training to enter God’s Holiness, cannot be exercised AFTER we have already entered a route of escape to resort to a sinful solution.