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” Isaiah 61:3 (KJV).
Friend to Friend
I was flying out of town for a week. A few minutes before leaving for the airport, I glanced at my airline ticket and saw a code I didn’t recognize. I did a quick check. To my dismay, I discovered the code meant I couldn’t bring any type of luggage with me. In fact, I was limited to a small backpack that could fit under the seat.
What could I do?
I started improvising. I tucked the essentials in my small backpack (my computer, makeup, an extra pair of shoes, and clean underwear). Then I put on two pairs of pants. A camisole. Two shirts. A sweater and a jacket. Two pairs of socks. A pair of boots.
An hour later when I climbed on the small plane, I looked like a snowball. I expected TSA to pull me from my seat at any moment for being a rule-breaker. When I finally arrived at my destination, I ran to the hotel room and threw off the burden of the extra clothes. I never wanted to experience that again. I was uncomfortable for hours.
There are times I sometimes feel this same thing, but instead of way too many clothes, I’m wearing invisible garments. Things I really want to take off, like disillusionment, a critical spirit, or an angry heart. Maybe it’s hurt or sorrow. Though it’s important to process and work through those emotions, they aren’t what I want to wear for years at a time.
In Isaiah 61, God notices the Israelites were struggling. Through the prophet Isaiah, God made a promise.
“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” (Isaiah 61:3).
Because of God’s love for the Israelites, he noted how they felt. He also understood they had worn these heavy garments for a very long time. He made a promise to exchange those heavy garments for new lighter garments. Garments of praise. Garments of joy. Beauty for ashes!
When I was on the airplane, wishing I could throw off the extra garments, I wished I had paid a higher price for a ticket. It would have been a sacrifice, but it would have also brought relief. When we carry the weight of unresolved grief, pain, anger, hurt, or disillusionment, the promise is that Jesus has already paid the highest price possible. Our heavenly Father, through His Son, Jesus, made it possible to exchange those weights to receive an exquisite covering of forgiveness, healing, wholeness, and love.
And as we receive that gift, Jesus exchanges our hurts for joy. Our critical spirit for hope. Our overwhelmed soul for rest. Sometimes that’s miraculous and instantaneous. Sometimes that’s miraculous and it takes time. Both are beautiful. The invitation is to walk out those heavy feelings with a God who loves you more than you can imagine. For He sees you. He reaches for you. He invites you to take off those weighty garments for a new wardrobe.
Dear Lord, we hold up these weighty garments that are ill-fitting and unwanted. Replace them with joy, with comfort, and Your anointing. Thank You that You have paid the price so we might live un-constricted and free.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
To put on something new, we first take off the old. What’s one thing you sense God asking you to remove to receive the new? Taking off the old may take time. That’s okay. Whether a miracle comes quickly or unfolds, both are beautiful.
More from the Girlfriend
Do you long for a Mended Heart? Suzie’s book, The Mended Heart: God’s Healing for Your Broken Places is a practical, gentle tool to help you get started. Suzie helps you dig deeper into those areas where you long for healing, and offers practical and spiritual help to begin the process.
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Do you love podcasts? Listen to Suzie’s daily podcast, Prayer Starters, with the KLRC podcast network. It’s a 3–4-minute dose of the Word, a bit of encouragement, and a prayer starter to begin a conversation with God, right where you are.
© 2023 by Suzanne Eller. All rights reserved.
Thank you, Suzie for this writing!
Wow. You have no idea how much this devotional spoke to me.
I’ve been stuck at home (covid). I’ve had my eyes opened to how physical/ mental challenges
actually do feel like a heavy, wet, woolen blanket that you can’t get rid of! The evil one, can sure use all his tools; and I’m sick enough I can’t shake it, but,(I love that God can use the word “but” in making a difference )I know God can!
God has shown me several verses of the word “planting”, Is.41:17-20, Jer.17:8 an others. I know this time, is a time of trail and testing. God will give me a time to take off this heavy blanket; it’s all according to His timing and I need to take a rest.
Good Morning and Thank You for Sharing this Message ✨ I am praying for a “new wardrobe”. God’s Blessings to You Always ✨♥️✨
I want to say thank you for this message! Also, thank you to the entire team for always being here. I have been on and off but no matter what, when I type in Girlfriends in God, you all are there! It means a lot!
I hold up these weighty garments that are ill-fitting and unwanted. Replace them with joy, with comfort, and Your anointing.
Your Word says, “ to be still and know that You are God.”
Prayers for healing growth found on my left thyroid, In Jesus’ Name, Amen🙏🏼
When you can’t be a housewife, be a Homegirl of Jesus’. The category we all want to be in!
That’s a lot of faith And the best role yet!