I remember reading Isaiah 61 for the first time. It was like hearing a song or reading a poem that moved me so deeply and beautifully.   

“1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; 

2 to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; 

3 to grant to 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 oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he may be glorified. 

4 They shall build up the ancient ruins; they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall repair the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations. 

5 Strangers shall stand and tend your flocks; foreigners shall be your plowmen and vinedressers; 

6 but you shall be called the priests of the LORD; they shall speak of you as the ministers of our God; you shall eat the wealth of the nations, and in their glory you shall boast. 

7 Instead of your shame there shall be a double portion; instead of dishonor they shall rejoice in their lot; therefore in their land they shall possess a double portion; they shall have everlasting joy. 

8 For I the LORD love justice; I hate robbery and wrong; I will faithfully give them their recompense, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them. 

9 Their offspring shall be known among the nations, and their descendants in the midst of the peoples; all who see them shall acknowledge them, that they are an offspring the LORD has blessed. 

10 I will greatly rejoice in the LORD; my soul shall exult in my God, for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation; he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. 

11 For as the earth brings forth its sprouts, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to sprout up, so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to sprout up before all the nations.” Isaiah 61

All scripture is God-breathed and beautiful. This chapter sings the story of our lives. When I read it, I hear the story of my life. 

As we celebrate our wedding anniversary for the ninth time today, I have really been seeing all the beauty I’ve been given in place of ashes. My salvation is surely the best, blood-purchased gift I’ll ever get, and even beyond that God has been so good. He is a good, good Father, and when I look at all the beauty in my life I am thankful He blessed me light years beyond what I ever deserved. 

I am thankful for our marriage, our family, and an infinite number of blessing I have everyday. 

My focus today has been on the things God produced out of giving us each other. All of it is a sight to behold – like an ever expansive garden filled with the most glorious tree and flowers. I just pray for the ability to take all I’ve been given and turn it into a display of His splendor. 

Today I am thankful and aware of all the beauty I don’t always notice, but I have been asking for grace to be more aware and appreciative at all times.