Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Planting

Isaiah 61:1-2 - hands down, my favorite scripture. I like to think of it as "Christ's mission statement." This was the scripture passage He chose to read in the synagogue when He started His ministry.

"The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord..."

Preach good tidings, Bind up broken hearts, Free people from their personal prisons...if this was the kind of stuff Christ was doing - and it was - then I wanted to be a part of it. For the record, I'm pro-healing, pro-good tidings and pro-freedom.

Thus motivated, I dived in and worked and worked and worked. I spent one miserable summer a few years ago trying to repair broken relationships and help heal wounds. The result of my efforts was making everything I got involved with much, much worse.

Frustrated and worn out, I turned back to my favorite scripture and realized that the sentence doesn't end where I thought it did.

"To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified."

What I took from this scripture was two things. (1) Christ is the one who does the healing and the binding and the freeing. (2) My role is to be His tree.

What exactly, though, does that mean? To be the planting of the Lord?

After years of mildly wondering and wrestling with this question, one while while reading my scriptures, these words caught my attention: (Jeremiah 17:7-8)
"Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.
For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit."

I love this clarification and the imagery.  I will leave you to draw your own conclusions.  

But let me add this:  I am well aware of the things I don't have in my life right now.  In case I ever forget, there are these three children I see and help take care of during church who never let a week pass by without going through the gamut of things a person my age should have.  "Do you have a car?"  "Do you have a husband?"  "Do you have a boyfriend?"  "Do you have any kids?"  "Do you have a house?"  Etc.  As far as these kids are concerned, I have nothing of any importance - I'm in a drought so to speak.  I am very grateful though for the people in my life who have helped me these past few months when I also didn't have an income.  My friends and loved ones have sustained me and helped me, have fed me and house me (literally) and encouraged me.  Can the plantings of the Lord do good and bring good?  From the receiving end, let me assure you: YES.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.  

I pray and hope that I may return the favor.  

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