I went to bed last night feeling like a jerk.
I had made a broad-sweeping comment to my wife that wasn’t fair or even true. I just said it. After too long of silence, I did apologize, it was sincere, but I was left to go to sleep with my thoughts.
The thought swirl began to do its work. Slowly, the thoughts started to compile, and I tried to out-sleep them. Eventually, they subsided, but they disturbed my sleep all night.
Fortunately, as I woke, my thoughts had changed and were God-ward. Somehow my subconscious managed to get involved and began moving me in the right direction. It could be due to the years of practice of running to God, or it could be just grace. Or, maybe a combination of the two, I’m not sure.
All of that being said, this scripture began to flow through my thoughts:
“…To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.” (Isaiah 61:3, NKJV)
The two-bolded parts particularly were catching my drift. “Beauty for ashes, thank you, God.” Garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, yes please.”
Heaviness is precisely what had settled in my thoughts last night. The Bible identifies it as an actual spirit.
There is a spirit of heaviness. This was not the first time I had encountered it, but this may have been the first time I quickly identified it and responded accordingly.
Without a whelming feeling, without any music, and without any other cues, I began to sing (out loud, but quietly, it was 3:00am) praise, what I know to be true about God, to him.
You see, Isaiah identifies praise as a garment that you put on.
There is nobody that hasn’t dressed appropriately for one occasion or another. It’s how we roll. Going out for dinner? We simply assess what is needed and dress appropriately. If we need shorts and a t-shirt, we put them on. If we need a coat, on it goes. Feeling chilled? A blanket will suffice.
We don’t battle emotionally when it comes to getting dressed, well mostly, we don’t. We simply assess, select, and don. No big deal.
So, when you encounter, and you will, a spirit of heaviness? Assess, Select, and Don Praise.
Praise doesn’t need music, mood, or some other support structure. Praise just needs you. It just needs us to supply the truth about God’s goodness, from the scriptures, from our experience and vocalize it back to him.
Isn’t it time we got appropriately dressed?