On Monday I finished reading through the New Testament, and Revelation 22 had an unexpected surprise for me.
Revelation 22:1-2 - "And the angel showed me a pure river with the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb, coursing down the center of the main street. On each side of the river grew a tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, with a fresh crop each month. The leaves were used for medicine to heal the nations."
I will preface this by saying that I have a leaf tattooed on the palm of my left hand. It's significance came to me from Psalm 1 (for the full context, see the previous blog) and Isaiah 49.
Psalm 1:3 - "They (the godly) are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season without fail. Their leaves never wither, and in all they do, they prosper.
Isaiah 49:16 - (God speaking to his people:) "See, I have written your name on my hand."
In Revelation, we see that the leaves are for healing. My name is Laurel, which is a type of leaf, and the name means, "Crowned with Victory." My husbands name is Jason, which means, "Healer." After reading this, I see that he and I are symbolically even more fit for each other than we might have realized. My journaled, "Lord, please use my prayers and my life to heal the nations." No doubt this was a big prayer that one might never even be congnizant of the answer to, but in my case, I began to see it flesh itself out that very day.
Earlier in the week, the Lord brought the global tragedy of human trafficking to my heart, and I began praying about it and researching what opportunities might be available to help with this in my own small way within my community. I found Rapha House, which, incidentally, in Hebrew, means "Healing House." It is an educational and fund raising facility for safe houses for young girls being rescued from child prostitution in Cambodia and Thailand. I took a visit there on Monday afternoon and received a tour and gave them my name for future volunteer opportunities. I look forward to becoming more educated myself, and helping with this task as much as I can that is so central to the heart of God.
Tomorrow is Third Thursday here in Joplin, which is an Art walk down Main Street each month. They told me at Rapha House that they have several hundred visitors pass through on these nights. May hearts be touched and people be motivated to participate in setting these captives free.
Isaiah 61:1-3 - "This Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is upon me, because the LORD has appointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to announce that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed. He has sent me to tell those who mourn that the time of the LORD's favor has come, and with it the day of God's anger against their enemies. To all who mourn in Israel, he will give beauty for ashes, joy instead of mourning, praise instead of despair. For the LORD has planted them like strong and graceful oaks for his own glory."