2012 for me was a year that was rescued by Isaiah 61:3

To bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord
for the display of his splendor.

There were moments in 2012 where my mourning was because of sins that wounded myself.
There were moments in 2012 where my mourning was because of sins that wounded others.
There were moments where I thought there would never be another day of “gladness” in my life nor the lives of those I wounded.
There were moments where my despair was so great I was literally vomiting out of emotional toil.

I would read the verses above not as a promise from God…
But rather as a vengeful stab in my gut and heart from Satan saying…
“No. Not you Carlos. This promise is for everyone else. But you my son, just look at yourself. You. Are Hopeless.”
And I would retreat into my cave just as David did.

I was looking for God in the wind and in the sky, like somehow His rescue comes like Jesus flying in on the back of Falkor from the Never Ending Story.
Only when I stopped looking for God to come like a rushing wind and looked right in front of me did I realize He was there all along.
My crown of beauty was brought to me in my wife who is grace with skin on.
My oil of gladness walked up to me in the Bergstrom family wrapping the arms of Jesus around me.
My garment of praise were songs that have been written in the midst of rescue.
And the strength of an oak tree brought to me by countless friends like Mike, Pete, Al, & Teresa who planted me in the Lords soil so I can display the Lord’s splendor.

You see, sometimes we are too busy looking for renewal from the sky, when He is walking right up to us on the ground.

You my friend can find renewal today.
Look for those people around you who are leaking Jesus, and just walk with them.
When they leak on you, hope will rise…
Los