Recently I have been given the privilege of joining a team that leads worship at a homeless outreach in the city. This amazing experience of releasing hope through song and spirit-led encouragement has reminded me of God’s heart to lift the head of those who are soul-downcast and release His hope and peace over His people.
As I prepared my heart to sing, I got the sense that this was what I was made for and that the testing, trials and shaping by the Master Potter that I had gone through had all been for this: that I would have the oil of Jesus—his hope and his healing, to share with many. I felt that the hard trials were like the crushing of the fruit of my life to make the oil—the precious oil of God. Like essential oils are made from extracting the healing properties of plants and herbs, I believe God extracts the gold he has produced in us through his refining fire, and it becomes like golden oil, with heavenly healing properties.
Mighty Oak trees
In Isaiah 61 we are called to become like mighty Oak trees, steadfast in God with roots down deep. The fruit he is making from our lives is produced out of rest and surrender.
Psalm chapter 1 verse 3 says that ‘those who delight in the teachings of God and meditate on them will be like a tree planted by the river of life that brings forth fruit in every season; its leaves will not wither and everything he does will succeed.’
He is making us into Trees of Life with leaves of healing for the nations that we read of in Revelation 22 and Ezekiel 47.
As I sang the spontaneous song of the Lord over the people, an invitation came forth for everyone to be embraced by the arms of Love and Mercy. God’s heart was poured out through song for people to receive His peace, enter into His rest and experience His love.
After the service I watched the precious ministry of the Salvo’s as they fed, talked with and loved on those doing it tough in our city. I met a few and asked if they enjoyed the music and how long they had been coming to the Salvo’s. I sat amongst some of the volunteers as they mingled and served the homeless through a quiz night, with laughter and joy being shared through the leaders who knew people by name. Then later, I watched as they readied the night ministry team van to go out and bring hot chocolates and Jesus’ love and hope to those sitting in the dust and cold.
I was reminded again that we are called to bring hope, that our lives are not for ourselves and that if we truly walked in step with God’s heart and his desire for us to be His hands and feet of love, then we would see our trials as a blessing— for the oil which comes forth from Jesus’ work within us is truly special indeed.
Liana Monaghan lives in Port Willunga, South Australia with her husband Justin of nine years. Liana is a passionate early childhood educator, songwriter and lover of Jesus.