“To grant to those who mourn in Zion—
to give them a beautiful headdress
instead of ashes,the oil of gladness
instead of mourning,the garment of
praise instead of a faint spirit; that
they may be called oaks of righteousness,
the planting of the Lord, that he
may be glorified.”
Squirrels are eighty-percent unsuccessful in harvesting the nuts they vigorously hide throughout their whole existence. But they’re approximately eighty-percent successful in planting trees. Many associate and define squirrels by their ability to hide and eat nuts, when in all actuality, they’re tree-planters.
Have you ever heard someone say with shameful intonation, “Don’t sin! Because your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit!”? That works for about three minutes. We don’t want to willfully sin, but we mess up because of our broken flesh on this planet. Even though we have Jesus, our bodies are a magnet for sin. That doesn’t give us a license to sin, but it’s a reality to not bury or brush over.
Don’t you think the Almighty knew that we’d be like the squirrel in our perceived success rate? Everything that would block the connection between us and God, Jesus became on the Cross. We may be five-percent successful, ninety-five percent failure, but God is a hundred percent successful. Even in our brokenness, chaos, and mistakes, he is able to shine his presence through us.
The temple God used to dwell in was a tent called ‘The Tabernacle’. But you had to wade through about six-million homeless and broken Israelites to get to it. There’s a message in that, because now, we are that temple. Hypocrisy about sin, self, and struggles doesn’t help anyone to relate, let alone connect with God (The purpose of a ‘temple’). In Isaiah 61, God’s the treeplanter, and we are the trees (Oaks of Righteousness).
Enjoy being that tree/temple. Joy, not shame, in the LORD is our strength.