Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Reflections on Isaiah 61:3

Disjointed thoughts... maybe they will help someone out there... maybe they are just for me.... Here goes:

Isaiah 61:3 "and provide for those who grieve in Zion-- to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness 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've been reflecting some on this verse lately... there have been a lot of seasons of grief in my life lately for very different reasons and I've been trying to savor the time (as strange as that might sound at first) because I know that the Lord wants to show me more of himself through these different things. I've been thinking some about the crown of BEAUTY (instead of ashes), oil of GLADNESS (instead of mourning) and garment of PRAISE (instead of a spirt of despair)... The Lord's promises in scripture are true. These are some of the things for which Christ came to earth to provide for us. He wants to provide for all who grieve...

What would it mean to truly see beauty from the ashes?

What would it mean to be glad and not mourn over the losses anymore?

What would it look like to truly praise the Lord in all things instead of being hung up in despair?

I am really posing these questions for myself more than anyone else this evening, but if you are reading this and you have thoughts to share, by all means jump in.

I think there is a time for every purpose under heaven (Eccl. 3) and so I am continuing to walk the long road of grieving various losses until the Lord brings complete restoration/ comfort for the present time... but at the same time seeing bits of the BEAUTY, GLADNESS and PRAISE that can be seen and given to the Lord even through grief still being present.

He is such an incredible God. He provides us with exactly what we need, when we need it.

I am praying that I can be more observant in the things he wants to teach me. I am hoping to learn lessons he wants to teach me the first time around and not have to keep repeating the experiences in some way until I learn the lesson! Oh Lord, I believe you.. I believe your promises and who you are... I believe you! Help my unbelief!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Lent, a season for reflection

I've been away from blogging for a while, but wanted to jump back in with some thoughts on Multitude Monday. This lent season I have been reflecting and turning to the cross to examine my life in a new light.

holy experience

It was twenty years ago this lent season that I considered publically professing my faith in Christ. Twenty years?! I feel blessed to have walked with the Lord most of my life, but it gives me great joy to reflect and hope and dream about the next twenty years!

Today, I am thankful for...

121. Being given the gift of creativity because He is our creative (Creator) God!

122. Walks without coats!! :) *Yay for warmer temperatures!*

123. Beauty in simplicity and the everyday.

124. Finding a place to purchase Pearl Barley! (I've been on this quest since we moved to our new location over 2 months ago!)

125. Hope for the future... hope that the Lord will accomplish more than we can ask or imagine!

126. Bright colors!

127. Worship... any time, any place... the ability to worship the Lord God for who he is.

128. Authenticity

129. Heartfelt prayers

130. News that we will be aunt and uncle again!

131. To share in the joy of first-time parents-to-be!

132. Seeing young ones grow up to love the Lord and desire to worship him with their lives.

133. To hear news of a dear friend's engagement!

134. To know that God's purposes will be accomplished and to get the chance to be involved in what he is doing.

And last, but not least on my list today, I am thankful for

135. Ants! I wish they would carry on outside my house, but they are interesting little creatures to watch! :)

Blessings to all on this Monday as we give thanks to the Lord for his many blessings. Praying that this lent season will continue to be a time of reflection, revival and rest in the Lord.

Isaiah 30: 15 (NIV) "This is what the Soverign Lord, The Holy One of Israel say, 'In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength'....