This week...week 3 in our online Bible study...I was introduced to an awesome verse of scripture and it pretty much transformed my week, and hopefully lead me to a place where I could help others transform theirs as well. This is the verse I'm talking about...
"...to bestow upon 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." Isaiah 61:3
I've been going through a situation in my life, that while it is far from the most difficult situation I've ever been in, it is still a toughie. If I would let it, this situation could have real power to get me down and drown me in self-doubts and insecurities. I'll be honest, for a little while, it was. But that was only because #1 I was letting it and #2 I wasn't having as much faith in God to take care of it as I should've. I know so much better. I've got years of God getting me through tough situations, and I had no reason to believe He wouldn't do the same now. However, I could really start feeling my faith wander and self-doubt grabbing its hold on my life, on my spirit. Then, as He always does, God allowed a few things to happen.
First, He allowed something to occur that gave me just a little shove of encouragement and confidence, which in turn, made a HUGE difference in the way I was perceiving things. Then, He brought the above verse into my life and into my heart and into my mind, which really gave me a shove of encouragement. The verse also got me thinking, as did the reading in our OBS study book that went along with the verse. Renee compares an oak to a pine. Then I started doing it myself. I thought about a pine tree. I imagined the way it would stand in a storm...flimsy, branches flying everywhere, gusts of wind and rain chipping off pieces of its wooden trunk a piece at a time causing it to become even weaker than it already was. Then I imagined an oak in the same storm, and got a completely different picture in my mind. An oak is strong, beautiful, sturdy, meant to last. It stands tall and firm in the middle of a storm. Then the last part of the scripture spoke to me:
"They will be called Oaks of Righteousness a planting of The Lord for the display of His splendor."
Then it was like I could hear God saying to me,
"So which one are you going to be, Jenny? Are you going to stand weak like a pine only to be knocked down by self-doubt and insecurity, or are you going to stand tall and strong, and be my Oak of Righteousness...my display of splendor?"
I knew my answer, and it immediately lifted my spirit. God is the answer in this situation, just like He is in all situations. He's not going to let me down. He's not going to leave me alone, stranded on an island of pain and self-doubt. He's going to lead me in being the strong oak that I know I can be and that I can encourage others to be, but only with Him as the everlasting leader.
"For the Lord will be your confidence, and keep your foot from being caught." Proverbs 3:26
And there's more where that came from! God bless and have an awesome weekend everyone!