Confession: I find it so, so, very easy to turn away from God, in a sense, when things are going my way. I guess to be more clear, it's not that I'm turning away from Him, it's more like I'm just not acknowledging His hand in things -- not giving credit where credit is due. When everyone in the family is healthy, we've got food, enough money to keep us on our feet (thanks to our supporters), etc. When my life isn't "troubled", it's easy to forget who it is I should be thanking. I take the "good life" for granted, and sometimes, unfortunately, it takes a hardship for me to remember to turn to God and praise Him for how wonderful and easy my life really is.
The Charles F. Stanley Life Principles Bible says "God allows adversity because sometimes that is the only way to get our attention, and it's the only warning we will heed," and, yes. I must, must do a better job of staying with God, even when I'm on top of the world.
And when there are hardships -- whether they be with finances, health, family issues, etc. -- I must remember that God knows the plans He has for me, and that His plans are far beyond anything I could dream. I am thankful for this truth I can cling to. SRT says, "As in so many times before, God’s people [may] only seek His face when they are at rock bottom. Like a wise parent with an unruly child, He has to let them turn away so that they can turn back." (2 Kings 17:19-20) The point of Israel's suffering was to make God's people seek Him. They had nowhere else, no one else, and nothing else to turn to. It's sad that God was the last resource, but, "the seeking was the point all along." He wanted them to want Him. He wants us to want Him. And when we do turn back to Him, He's there waiting. Right where we started. And he picks us up like we pick up our hurting child and he holds onto us.
It feels so good To be in Your arms You never left me I just chose to stay behind I want to thank You for Your love That gives me freedom To run back, to come back
This morning, after studying Hosea 5, I was reading some of the comments on She Reads Truth in response to today's study. One comment in particular had me in tears, because it was full of such raw truth, and because I can totally relate to what the reader says:
Hosea has been a revelation for me for the past week. There is one particular sin that has wrapped its claws around me that I cannot shake. Time and time again I succumb to its temptations, feeling guilty for being so weak. The next morning I give up and cry and wonder, "What is the point? Why should I try to read the Bible and study and pray and live by Your example? I cannot live up to that because I know I will crash -- hard. It's easier to give up."
But feeling weak is the point. "The seeking was the point all along." I'm not suppose to battle this alone, to prove how strong and tough I am, because I will not succeed. I need Jesus and His armor of Love. I have learned that He believes that I am worth it. And with and for Him, I'm going to give it my all.
How many of us can relate to this? Can you say, "EVERY ONE OF US"? Let's not forget that we have a God that loves us -- a Father who will never forsake us. He wants us to seek Him. He wants us to want Him. He is our purpose, and He allows us to run back to Him, no matter how many times we've run away.