Thursday, July 17, 2008

Beauty for Ashes

“To all who mourn in Israel, He will give beauty for ashes, joy instead of mourning, praise instead of despair. For the LORD has planted them like strong and graceful oaks for His own glory.” Isaiah 61:3

Since I was a little girl I have loved oak trees. I grew up in a simple brick 3 bedroom ranch on Hoover St. in Staunton, VA. Anchoring our front yard was a big sturdy oak tree that sheltered years of my childhood. Almost everywhere I have lived I have formed a relationship with a tree, usually an oak. When Dan and I were buying new construction homes there were only little stick trees in our yards, part of landscape package A or B, and I secretly felt like they weren't real homes. I needed a mature tree. I needed a tree that had seen lives come and go, weathered season after season and kept growing gracefully.

One of the many blessings of our new home is the two giant oak trees on either side of our front yard. Today the girls and I had a picnic under one of them. After eating our lunch we read books and looked up into the leafy roof. I said a prayer of thanks for this tree, a reminder of the tree my Savior hung on to pay the price for all my sin. A reminder of the tree my God likened me to in Isaiah, strong and graceful for His glory. At the foot of the cross I stand truly amazed at how my Father has time and time again given me beauty, joy and praise instead of the sinful ashes of despair and mourning He found me in. Thank You!

No comments: