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NIV is used unless otherwise noted.

What’s in Your Closet?

He has sent me 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.
Isaiah 61:1-3

What’s in your closet? Is it filled with colorful textures and styles? Most closets are full and yet we struggle to “find something to wear.” Sometimes, we mindlessly pull something off of the hanger. Anything will do. Sometimes, we agonize. Nothing seems just right.

What would it be like to be able to stand before our closets each morning and know that there was a perfect outfit to wear? One that is attractive, fits well, never wears out, or that we tire of? Most of us can’t imagine that possibility. It would be an outfit to die for!

There’s one garment available to each one of us, suitable for every occasion, whenever we choose to wear it—a garment of praise. Do we see it and recognize it for the perfect garment that it is? It may not feel appropriate when we find ourselves weighed down by discouragement and despair. Yet, it is all the more important to wear during these times.

When the Israelites mourned and grieved, their typical behavior was to let everyone know by putting on sackcloth and sprinkling ashes over their heads. And to moan and groan. Their inner sadness was obvious to others by this outward behavior.

God offers more to us for our hurting hearts. He offers the oil of joy and a garment of praise. But, do you wonder like I often do—how will others know what I’m going through if I’m rejoicing? Maybe it’s more important to let others see something other than what’s expected.

It goes against our nature to praise God when we’re grieving, but that’s exactly what helps us revive hope.

Is there a garment of praise waiting for you in your closet?

Father, I want to honor You and wear the garment of praise You’ve provided in exchange for my spirit of despair.

Karen Sims

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