To grant 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 the oaks of righteousness…
–Isaiah 61:3 ESV
There was a man whose livelihood was in the wine industry. He was asked by a friend if the drought they were having in California was negatively impacting him.
He said no and that actually grapevines are amazing plants because the harsher the weather and the rougher the vines are treated, the better grapes they eventually produce. Their roots are forced to dig deep to get what they need to survive, thus producing healthier plants. This farmer had no idea how true what he said was for life in general.
We don’t know when this pandemic will end, we don’t know if this is the new normal. Fear has run rampant and chaos has sprung up. However, these are the things that make us dig deep, to find our identity in Him. And to have a sturdy foundation for what comes next, we know in whom we put our trust in and dig even deeper. Let these strange times shape you for the better. We will eventually see fruit coming from them.
God is the vine; we are the branches; and united in Him, we shall flourish. God wastes nothing, and from these ashes, beauty will arise.