They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.
Isaiah 61:3 NIV
Ok I promise to touch on the first part of this verse – oaks of righteousness – in a later post but bear with me as I unpack the latter portion first. It’s just too good to come second. We are a display of the splendor of God. Let me just say, this is one of my favorite identity statements in the Bible!
I don’t know about you, but when I think of the splendor of God, I don’t immediately think of myself. I am much more likely to think of creation first. To look at the mountains in all their majestic splendor or a beautiful flower. Maybe the serene beauty of a sunset. Or the calming rhythms of the ocean and it’s tides.
Sure my thoughts would include the births of my children. Or even my children themselves on a really good day (emphasis on really good day). But me? A display of the splendor of God? Not my first thought. Yet the Bible says differently.
The more I have studied and reflected upon this truth the more I love it and completely agree we are a display of the splendor of God. How do we display God’s splendor? Displaying God’s splendor begins with just being created in his image, being who he made us to be. But it also goes beyond that. It includes our stories. What we have been through. Our experiences. Our stories declare God’s splendor.
When I share about how God healed me and gave me hope after being sexually assaulted, I am declaring and displaying the splendor of God to heal and restore hope. When we share our stories without omitting the messy, we display the splendor of God to redeem. To forgive. To love unconditionally.
That is why our stories matter. Why our experiences, both good and bad, are significant. Our stories are unique. God has uniquely met each of us where and when we needed him most. When we declare that, we display his splendor.
If he hasn’t met you yet, don’t lose hope my friend. Keep seeking. For those of us who have found him and can declare his splendor – we need to speak up. Others need to hear our stories. Others need to be encouraged in a way that only we can encourage them. So go out there and boldly display God’s splendor as only you can!