Thursday, January 6, 2011
I always ask God to speak a new word into my life as I start a new year. It gives me something to look forward to as the year unfolds, and I have yet to not see God fulfill what He gives me. This picture above captures what God is pressing on my heart. The verse is 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 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."
Oaks are incredible trees. They can live up to 1000 years if left undisturbed. Their root system plays a key role in helping them to survive the worst storm, as some oak trees' roots grow laterally up to 90 feet. There is very little that can knock them down. In looking at the verse above, I see that God wants to help me become so rooted in Him that I cannot be shaken. That He wants to bring joy and life to areas of my heart that need it.
This word is timely, as God is asking me to dream again. To trust Him with the things that I long for the most, and yet fear are just out of reach. It's like a poker game...as long as you have something in your hand that you think might bring you a good play, you hold onto it. This morning, God removed all the cards that I thought I had left to play. And last night, as I begun to write down my dreams for 2011, I realized that there was one I could not bring myself to write out. You see, I've written it every year since I started this tradition with the Lord. And not seeing it come to be has left me shaken. God is asking me to take my empty hands and let Him fill them. I am hurting and frustrated. But I am being honest. My hands are empty. I have nothing, no ideas how to "make" what I want happen. Except coming to the One who holds it all. Except clinging to His promises...His word.