Isaiah 61:3 (NLT)
To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the Lord has planted for his own glory.
If you're not familiar with some of the traditions of Jewish culture and old testament practices, there was a time that when people were in mourning or in a state of repentance etc they would lay on the ground in what we would see similarly as burlap, (it was a course goat hair type of garment) and a person would be covered in ashes. Pretty easy to spot someone in those days with an issue of mourning or repentance. So what is so great about that today? Today we can see that one of the things Jesus did for us was to totally wash away the sackcloth and ashes with a crown of beauty. In some versions it talks about oil being poured over a person. Just to note, that the oil of the day could have been very expensive. In one scripture a lady poured fragrant oil on Jesus' feet and people were freaked out!! Why? It was worth like a whole years wage! Could you imagine if your kids got a hold of a $20-100,000+ item and just gave it away at some friends house??!!
Yeah, it was intense. You see, Jesus is a transformer. He takes things and transforms them. That is a huge benefit for us. We are the ones walking around in burlap and smelly campfire ashes and easily seen (and smelled) by all. What they can now see because of the redemptive work of Christ is we are no longer covered in all the muck and junk of our lives. All the brokenness and disease and pain of our day to day living. We can be and have been afforded the opportunity to plug into a transformer that won't kill you, but gives you life forever!!!
That is amazing news!!! A new look. A new song in your heart, a skip in your step and a strength like a mighty oak planted by God himself!!!!!
It's real easy to miss getting plugged into that when the ashes are so thick they cover your eyes up from being able to see. I love how this beautiful passage of scripture starts from the top down. It means that God starts by opening our eyes and the opportunity to say yes.
Could you imagine
plugging yourself into this?!
Yes to life. Yes to transformation, Yes to blessing. Yes to hope. Yes to more and NO to anything less.
My friend, if you haven't been able to see past the ashes of your life lately, I PROMISE YOU, when you ask to be transformed and plug into the transformer, things will change and here's the best part of plugging into a transformer like Jesus.... POWER!! Power to say yes! Power to live!
It is that very same power that gives me the ability to say #GodsGotThis. The hope to live a life, even though I'm infected with Stage 4 cancer, that He is my healer and help and hope. I would be nothing but a sack of ashes if it weren't for the Transformer of life changing me. He can do the same for you! Now, it's no magic trick or potion and I won't promise everything goes from crap to perfect in one prayer... Our junk usually didn't happen overnight and usually won't change overnight. The difference is the transformer and transformation. It is a powerful process of getting what you need during the process of changing. We are changed, the Bible says, from glory to glory (from incredible moment to incredible moment) and I CAN promise that if you seriously want to plug into this Transformer, a change is coming!! So whatever you are facing, regardless of circumstance or situation, never give up and never ever forget and plug into the transformer and always proclaim....