The Great Weaver: A Story with a Punchline

 

To bestow on them

a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
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.

Isaiah 61:3

Last week I shared this verse as one of several to which God had pointed me recently. He has not stopped leading me back this powerful verse. I share my journey as an example of how God uses His Word to weave our lives together, one to another. My hope is that this story will resonate with others striving to hear God more clearly in their own lives.

Strong Roots

My sons and a couple of their friends have unified in prayer recently, and I shared the passage above with them as a daily verse. I was unfamiliar with it before attending She Speaks last summer. There I met a woman who was so strongly rooted in faith you could feel God’s Spirit on her. In our speakers’ small group she spoke of how God had used this verse to restore her “oil of joy” following the death of her son.

She shared in a recent phone conversation that she had not planned to speak on that verse. She had prepared another message and was frustrated that the Spirit was pushing her so strongly in this direction. She found it encouraging to learn that her message had become a source of comfort and inspiration to others.

While I was still on the phone with her I received a text from another She
SIsaiah 61:3peaks friend who had just purchased a ring a few days prior inscribed with, you got it, Isaiah 61:3. When she saw last week’s post referencing this verse she knew it was more than coincidence.

Tiny Acorns

Following She Speaks I published a post called, “May I Have a Word Please?” about how God had given me a word at the conference to focus my ministry for the coming year; it was brokenhearted. It’s a word that appears only twice in the Bible: In Isaiah 61:1 and in Luke 4:18 when Jesus proclaims an “Amen” over it, claiming Isaiah’s prophesy for himself:

He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted

I have remained open to the relevance of this word in my life, and realized that brokenhearted connects me with parents whose children are hurting. The pain over a child’s suffering is far deeper than anything we as parents experience directly.

How like God it is to introduce me to this notion through a woman who survived the ultimate heart break of losing her child. God’s promise in verse 3 is rooted in His desire to heal the brokenhearted.

Mighty Oaks on the Rise

When my sons and their friends embarked on this recent prayer journey I encouraged them with James 5:16:

The prayers of a righteous man are powerful and effective.

I challenged them to consider how powerful and effective their prayers could be together since they are all righteous men. As I looked more closely at Isaiah I realized that they, and the friend for whom they are praying, are being grafted together through this experience:

They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord
for the display of his splendor.

And Now for the Punchline

So from the mighty oak of a woman of faith to me, an acorn by comparison; and from me, like all parents, called to be an oak of faith to my children and their friends, rising oaks in the faith.

God’s word is alive and active in those who believe in him. As we share His word and pray together, God works beneath the surface to bless and refine us all, individually, and relationally with others and Himself. You can feel all the layers of stories happening in this one verse, can’t you?

The end for now is to remind us that we are part of God’s grand design. We see only our small piece at the moment, but God is a grand weaver, crafting a divinely intricate tapestry through our lives and the lives of others. We are threads held together by His Word.

In contemplating this metaphor I researched weaving terminology, wanting to know the word that refers to the starting point of the tapestry, metaphorically, the origin of God’s grand design. And it is this:

Cross

The figure eight made at one end of the group of warp threads used to keep those threads in order during the threading and sleying process of dressing the loom.

God’s grand design stretches to infinity (represented by the figure eight), and it always begins at the cross.

tapestry of the cross

One Reply to “The Great Weaver: A Story with a Punchline”

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