Hey guys 🙂
Last night during my run, I started thinking about a topic for today’s post. I usually have a topic lined up, or at least a list of topics to refer to that I might pick from for Faith in My Friday. However, a lot of the time when I have that thought “what should I write about,” it seems as though the Lord gives me some divine inspiration for what I should share on Friday’s.
As I was running, I was trying to think about nothing because – well – that’s just glorious after a long day of work. I had my music going to distract myself on the treadmill. But something about the song I was listening to brought up old memories of my life before I was a Christian.
I was actually listening to Katy Perry’s “Part of Me,” which always makes me feel a little angsty. But it also reminds me of the people in my past who have “chewed me up and spit me out like I was poison in your mouth.” It reminded me of my past hurt, but it also reminded me of who I am today – healed, saved, redeemed, & grown so far beyond those hurts.
“Beauty instead of ashes” popped in my head at that moment – a part of a verse I had memorized from the summer of 2012. The entire verse is from Isaiah 61:1-7, which reads:
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
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.
They will rebuild the ancient ruins
and restore the places long devastated;
they will renew the ruined cities
that have been devastated for generations.
Strangers will shepherd your flocks;
foreigners will work your fields and vineyards.
And you will be called priests of the Lord,
you will be named ministers of our God.
You will feed on the wealth of nations,
and in their riches you will boast. Instead of your shame
you will receive a double portion,
and instead of disgrace
you will rejoice in your inheritance.
And so you will inherit a double portion in your land,
and everlasting joy will be yours.
The first time I read these verses, they didn’t make much sense to me. I was memorizing them for a Bible study I was doing with a couple of friends. I kept claiming that I just “couldn’t get into the verse.” At the time, it wasn’t in tune with my heart I suppose. But over a year later, this verse speaks so loudly to me – so much truth. I bolded the parts that really stick out to me.
Last night as I was running, I just felt overwhelmed with the truth of the Lord in my life personally. I came from such brokeness before knowing Him. My life was marked with lonliness, painful hurts, desperation for love, sadness, and self-hatred.
The song brought me back, and for half a second, I was tempted to stay there, in all my hurt. This has been an incredibly busy and hard week for me. But instead of choosing to wallow in hurts and the difficulties of life, I was reminded that my life is changed. Even when it’s still hard, painful, or difficult – God is there. Before, I didn’t even know He was there. Life is so much better now that I have the Lord to depend on. And I just felt that that was a message worth telling today.
If I could tell you anything today, it would be that my life has drastically changed – not from my own doing, but from the Lord. He has taken me from negative, downhearted, overweight, lazy, and immature to a hard-working, look-on-the-bright-side, runner. That is only a transformation God can do – trust me!
So my message to you is – take heart. Know that whatever is hard in your life now is not there to discourage you, ruin you, or keep you from growing. He is there if you call on Him. He is there in every season, every moment, if you just let Him be. My prayer for you is that you would access the great joy that is the Lord and feel His peace for you today, because it’s real and it exists.
Questions for You:
- Have you ever read something in the past that didn’t click with you but read it again recently and it just made so much sense?
- What verse or saying describes your life right now?