“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion – to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor.” Is 61:1-3
I quoted the part that is bold and italicized of this passage in a very early post and actually read that portion at the scattering of Carter’s ashes. Then there was an article in The Alabama Baptist based on this same scripture. I want to read the article again, but it still brought the verses back to the forefront of my thoughts. Tuesday, 7-25-17, marked the two-month anniversary of life without Carter and it was a rough day for my daughter and son-in-law. We were pretty busy that day, so it really didn’t hit me until yesterday morning when I relived the events at the hospital and in Clam Bayou. I also watched Carter’s memorial service again all of which developed into a pretty major “come-apart”.
I’m told young trees that face storms and winds develop strong root systems and grow on to become tall healthy and vibrant trees. Those trees that don’t face adversity never develop the root system to sustain them during a storm and are blown over. I also recall a story of someone who watched a butterfly trying to escape captivity in its chrysalis and how it had to struggle to get out. They decided to help by making a little cut on the chrysalis and the butterfly easily crawled out. But its wings were deformed and I don’t think it survived long. The struggle to escape is what strengthened the wings and gave the butterfly life.
And so our struggle continues. And I think we continue to grow and develop and I hope one day we become “Oaks of Righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor.”