It’s always hard leaving a place of abundance.
When I landed in Dallas, I could feel the spirit of heaviness lift like a dissipating cloud under the gaze of the happy sunshine. When I landed in France, the drippy rain settled into my spirit, pelting my joy. It’s a difficult place to minister.
Tonight, though, as Marie placed a blanket over my shoulders, I was reminded afresh that I need not carry this spirit of heaviness. She read from Isaiah 61:3:
Une huile de joie au lieu du deuil
Un vetement de louange au lieu d’un esprit abattu
The oil of gladness instead of mourning
The mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting
I don’t know about you, but I need some of that oil! I need to wear that mantle more often. No matter where you are, no matter what place you find yourself in, God is available. He offers us glad oil and praise clothes. He is greater than our greatest worry. He is stronger than our strongest fear. He is able.
Because Jesus was raised from the dead, I can sing praises. Because He lives today, I can shed my mourning, replacing it with tangible joy. It’s not easy. I’m more apt to live like Puddleglum from the Chronicles of Narnia, in a perpetual state of sadness–or Eeyore, always wondering why my tail has fallen off again. And yet, the sun shined on both–the glum creature and the woe is me donkey.
Oh dear, sweet, amazing Jesus. This is what I pray today: Give me Your oil of gladness. Place your cloak of laughter upon my shoulders because they are weary. Turn my gaze heavenward. Teach me the power and joy of praising You in a land where few do. I’m dreadfully needy, Lord. But You are the lifter of my head. Renew me, Jesus. Renew me. Come. Refresh. Rejuvenate me. Place Your hand upon my head; I want to hear Your whispers of approval, Your words of encouragement. I am ready.