Favorite Scripture Friday: Isaiah 11:1

"A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit." Isaiah 11:1

Having grown up in the church, I'm accustomed to hearing or reading the above verse at least once during the Christmas season.  And just like so many other things in life, the multiple repetitions caused me to take for granted the message within it. 

However this week when I read it, something just "clicked" and I sat down, examined and pondered just what that verse meant.  It was not something I planned on, but the Lord laid it on my heart and now I have an entirely new perspective on those 19 words. 

In my experience, the only people who care about stumps are gardeners or landscapers-and even then they are most often annoyed because the stump is in the way of a project. 

Having visualized a stump sitting idly made me think.  Stumps are not really something people get really hyped about. To me, they're a reminder that something no longer serves a purpose.  It reminds me that something that was once majestic is now pretty much useless.  Seriously.  Have you ever planned to attend an event to see a stump?  I know I haven't.  I know of people who will literally drive cross country to go and personally experience the wonder that is the redwood national park.  I have never once heard anyone say, "Hey! You wanna go visit some seriously large stumps?  Let's go check 'em out!" 

Even though stumps are not thought of as something that is a well spring of life, God is not afraid to use them.  In fact, He revels in taking something that people thought was no longer useful and using it as a means to establish that he is, indeed, God.  He can, and will, take events in our lives that have definitely cut us down and use them to bring glory and honor to His name. 

I struggled mightily as to whether or not this post should be written.  It comes on the heels of some pretty trying circumstances, especially over these past couple of days.  I'm ashamed to call myself a Christian-I know that I am not always representing Christ in the demeanor he deserves.  And as I sat on my bed debating this, it seemed as if the Holy Spirit gently nudged and said, "That's exactly why this post needs to be written.  This verse (Isaiah 11:1) proves that God Himself can take things that appear to be useless from a human perspective and turn them into a vital part of furthering his kingdom.    People need to remember this." 

So, if you're going through difficult circumstances right now, please do not lose heart.  God can take those things that have cut you down (and laid bare for all the world to see what's on the inside) and make them something majestic.

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