July 23 – God Feels Pain

Hosea 8-14

When I read Hosea’s words this morning I was struck by God’s emotions toward His children. Often I’ve read about God’s anger. Today I see Him a bit differently.

My youngest nephew is going off to college. Even though I’m not his mom, I’m pretty close to this crazy teenager. And it’s not easy letting him go. So many memories rush back as I think about him getting in that car and driving away toward adulthood. The first time I held him in my arms, his first wobbly steps, the funny way he rolled his r’s when he was learning to talk, his first soccer game, playing catch in the backyard, watching Space Jam and laughing over The Great Race (MMMMAAAAAAAAAXXX!!!), Indians games, Disney, Chuckie Cheese. If only I could just hold him in those innocent years forever.

I have tears in my eyes just thinking about my nephew leaving the nest. It’s a natural progression of life, but I am still sad that he’ll be going away.

And that’s how I saw God this morning as I read Hosea 11. He’s like a daddy watching His baby walk away. He loved His children. He nurtured them, held them, taught them, protected them. But God’s children aren’t just going off to college. They have turned their backs on God and rejected him.

I am God’s child, too. He’s like the daddy who loves me completely. He’s held me, and taught me to walk, He’s protected me and guided me. It’s those times when I disobey, when I ignore Him, when I make choices that dishonor Him, that He yearns for the days when I totally belonged to Him. I can almost see Him reaching out to me as I take a step away.

I don’t want God to see my back. Ever. I want to be always moving toward Him, arms open wide, eager to receive everything He is. I don’t ever want to be a source of sorrow for my Lord. I don’t want my choices to cause Him pain.

If I feel sadness because of the new chapter in my nephew’s life, and mine, then God’s sadness must be so much greater when He watches His children turn and walk away. May I never be the source of His pain.

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