What kind of a tree would you be if you were a tree? I know on some days I feel and act like that scrawny, little tree from A Charlie Brown’s Christmas. Yet, God’s love is able to powerfully change all of our weakness, hurt and ugliness into beauty and strength. God heals our hearts and minds and forgives our sins.
God transforms us from brokenness and despair into oaks of righteousness – deeply rooting us in His Word and nurturing us by His Spirit. In Christ our characters can be transformed from one like a frail and scrawny, almost unidentifiable and seemingly useless, tree to a character that is like a strong and mighty oak providing a place of rest, shelter, safety and nourishment for others. God desires to grow each of us into oaks of righteousness and to use us to make known His love and majesty to those around us. How amazing is that!
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, to 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. – Isaiah 61:1-3
I love this passage of Scripture so much. The Sovereignty of our God, His absolute raw power, the-nothing-can-stand-in-His-way-kind-of-power is so perfectly evident here. Our God has a task to accomplish – and it is about turning our world upside down by His intimate and powerful intervention in our lives.
Right in the midst of our loneliest and most destitute times, right in the midst of our most painful experiences and deepest heartbreaks, right in the midst of our darkest sin, our God announces His Good News:
I love you. I heal you. I free you. I forgive you. I have good things – the best things – for your life. I comfort you. I turn your grief and pain into beauty and joy. I turn your weakness into strength. I will transform you so that others may know My love and power as they shine through your life.
Jesus is able to do all of this for and through each one of us – no matter what we may have suffered or what suffering we may have caused. Our God takes our frailty and transforms us into His oaks of righteousness as we yield ourselves, and all of our experiences, over to Him! And as we yield to our Sovereign Lord, we will grow stronger, revealing to others – more fully and more freely – our God’s eternal love and splendor!