A GARMENT OF PRAISE

john and laura driverBY:  LAURA DRIVER

E-MAIL ADDRESS:  laura.driver77@gmail.com

BIBLE TEXT:  Isaiah 61:3 (ESV):

 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.

PERSONAL REFLECTIONI put on John’s old UT sweatshirt—the one he was wearing the weekend we met. Over the years, almost 15 of them, this sweatshirt has been a favorite of both of ours. I borrowed it often when we were dating, loving the oversized snuggle and warmth of something that belonged to him. It has seen countless late night study sessions, football games, bonfires, and finals. Since marriage, I have taken over “rights’ to this raggedy piece of cloth…it is now truly falling apart at the seams. It bears the marks of splattered grease from cooking, bleach spots on the sleeves from Clorox gone awry, and a nice bright pink stain courtesy of a toddler Sadie refusing to swallow a dose of Benadryl. Recently, I added a serious blob of biscuit dough to the torn cuff. It may not survive the next wash cycle. In short, this sweatshirt is our history…each mark, tear, and stain a memory made…..and still, it is one of my favorite garments.

Isaiah 61:3 reminds us to “put on the garment of praise”—to literally wrap ourselves in it. If my garment of praise were something physical that I could see, something tangible that I could cuddle down into, I wonder:  what would it look like? What color? What fabric? I hope it would resemble this ratty old sweatshirt:
good times….praise
late nights….praise
exhaustion…praise
sorrow…praise
celebration….praise

PERSONAL APPLICATIONMy hope is the garment I am weaving is just like this sweatshirt: so familiar and constant. A visible, living history of the places I have been, the journey I have walked…that somehow, in all things, I am learning to live a life of praise.

PRAYERFather, help me today to remember that in all things I am able to praise you—that you are constant even when life is not. May I wrap myself totally in you, and find comfort, peace and rest in your arms. Amen.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Wife, mommy, cook, crossfitter, crafter, and lover of books who does the corporate thing Monday through Friday.

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