Friday, 9 September 2011

Are we wearing the right clothes?

As women folk, we (on the most part) tend to care very much about what clothes we wear.  If we have a heart for the Lord, we will desire to look both modest and feminine.  Maybe it's a pretty blouse, or your favourite long, swishy skirt?

But, despite what you thought when you read the title of this post, I'm not going to talk about modesty and femininity!  I do, at some point, intend to post about that topic, but today I am dwelling on something that is equally important - in fact, more so.

I have been continuing to read through the book of Isaiah, and it continues to both challenge and bless me.  There are SO many wonderful verses, hidden in amongst prophecy which is a little beyond my understanding!

I came across this verse today - a verse full of many wonderful things, but one thing in particular struck me.

"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

What garment are you wearing today?  Are you clothing yourself as a reflection to how your day is going?  Are you clothed in sackcloth and ashes, mourning your difficulties and troubles.  Adding to your misery, by clothing yourself in an attitude of 

"poor me...everything is going wrong...nobody loves me...why can't things go better for am I supposed to cope in these circumstances...?"

You need to put on the garment of praise!  You need to clothe yourself and surround your being with an attitude of praise!  Thanksgiving to God at all times, in every situation, no matter what your circumstances.

"Oh yes, (you may say), it's all very well talking about having a garment of praise when everything is all hunky-dory".

Oh, but look!  The garment of praise, when?

 "for the spirit of heaviness;"

You have to put on praise WHEN your heart is heavy.  At the time when it is hardest and you least feel praise coming to your lips.  You need to CHOOSE to put that garment on.  You need to CHOOSE to praise, instead of pouting.  You need to CHOOSE to remember that the God who is good on the good days, is worthy of our praise at ALL times.  Oh yes...He is worthy of our praise all the more on the bad days, because despite our attitude of self pity and misery, He still comforts, blesses and draws His arms of comfort around us.  He is worthy of our praise, and we need to choose to give it to Him.

Not just saying a cursory "thank-you, Lord".  Not just a brief "God is good", with no heart in it.  Surround yourself in praise.  The garment is not some skimpy mini-skirt, or a light-weight cardigan.  We're talking wrapping yourself from head to foot.

The original Hebrew says it best...

A primitive root; to wrap, that is, cover, veil, 

Surround yourself - cover over all of your struggles, sadness, despair, bitterness and self pity - wrap yourself in praise to the Almighty, Unchangeable God. Veil those sinful thoughts and attitudes with praise.  Praise to the one who deserves it, because of His unending love and compassion - His grace and His mercy - His blessings, too innumerable to count.

So, you think you got dressed this morning?  Go back and check again - go and pick up that garment, that is so important for getting your day right.  Put on that garment of praise, and watch your day take shape the way it should. 

1 comment :

  1. Caroline, I loved this...
    There are so many things just now weighing me down; so many hard things to pray for, that sometimes I forget to praise! Yesterday, for my own 'time' (which I get at lunchtimes - the beauty of having older children) I set out to praise God in my prayer... of course the list of reasons to praise Him would last for ever and ever... and that's just praising Him for Who He is and what He is... never mind all He's done for me.
    He knows the desires of my heart; he knows my troubles; He knows all that is making me weary. I think once in a while we ought to praise only in our prayers. We can never lose out by concentrating our hearts and minds on HIM!
    A x