“To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.” Isaiah 61:3
I love the poetry of Isaiah! The image of us, His people, as “trees of righteousness” sparks my imagination. We are His “planted” people, and we “grow and live” so that He may be glorified! God takes our sorrow and mourning and gives us comfort and beauty. He offers us the opportunity to praise Him even with heavy hearts. And as His plantings, we can offer His comfort, His beauty, and His joy to those we meet, all for God’s glory.
I live in a heavily wooded area. We have lots of trees, with only a couple of cleared areas. I can look out any window and see trees. I love being in the midst of the “forest”. In the midst of God’s fabulous creation. Trees are strong, but can sway with the wind and bend, they are resilient. Trees grow slowly and constantly. Years with more water and better weather may show more growth than drought years, but they still grow. Trees have deep roots that absorb all the water and nutrients they need. Trees are beautiful and unique. And there are so many kinds of trees: oak, apple, pine, maple, peach, cedar, birch, pear, dogwood, and many, many more.
Just as God cares for the various trees of the earth, He cares so much more for us, His “trees of righteousness”. God is our planter, our gardener. I love the shepherd and sheep analogy, but when I read this verse in Isaiah, it lets me see God as our gardener, our caretaker, our loving planter.
God, Our Gardener
God shines His light into our lives and we begin to grow toward Him.
God showers His blessings around us and our roots grow and strengthen.
God guides us with His Word and we grow tall and spread our branches.
God sprinkles love, sometimes straightening our trunks when we falter.
God fertilizes with gifts and talents and we produce abundant fruit.
God is our gardener and we reflect Him so that the forest of God with grow and He is glorified!
Thank You, God, for being our gardener as well as our shepherd. Thank You for your constant care, protection, guidance, and blessings. Let us reflect You, as your “trees of righteousness” in the forest of the world.
This week embrace all of the ways that God has cared for you and your family.
I thank God for each of you! And I thank you for joining me this week (and indulging my imagination) and seeing God as our gardener.