Friday, July 17, 2009

Tenderness of God

I have had few seasons in my life with Christ that He very clearly was displaying a certain characteristic of Himself to me over and over again. For example, when my dad was dying the FAITHFULNESS of God was the recurring theme in my walk with Him. The faithfulness of God is something that I have held very tightly to over the last 5 years since my dad's death. The faithfulness of God is something that I have reflected on, thanked Him for, and continued to see evidence of in my life. However, in this new season, He has sowed a new attribute of Himself deeply in my heart. When I reflect back over the last year I think the reoccurring theme for me will be the TENDERNESS of God.

God has displayed His tenderness to me in several different ways. I have been on a wilderness journey with Him over the last year. Just like the Israelites He CHOSE the wilderness for me to draw me closer to Him. He wanted me to see the Red Sea part and experience His intimacy at Mt. Sinai. I have been studying about the Israelites journey through the wilderness since last August. God has been so faithful(there is that word again!) to me to allow me to see Him and His purpose for my journey through the examples we are given in Exodus. I have written several post about how I relate to the Israelites more then I care to!

Tonight when I was in God's Word I went to Hosea 2:14-23 and fell on my face before God thanking Him for His tenderness towards me.

"Therefore I am going to allure her; I will lead her in the desert and speak tenderly to her. There I will give her back her vineyards and will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope. There she will sing as in the days of her youth, as in the day she came out of Egypt." (Hosea 2:14-15)

I know that God is a God of justice but I also know that He is a God of grace. He has brought me to the wilderness to show me His great love for me. I am so thankful for Psalms 3:3

"But You are a shield around me, O Lord. You bestow glory on me and lift up my head. To the Lord I cry out and HE answers me from His holy hill."

I begged God to remind me of these truths when I feel like I am wandering aimlessly through the wilderness. I have been reminded that God showed up in a very powerful way to all the Israelites, not just Moses, when they were at Mt. Sinai. Here is the thing....Mt. Sinai was the farthest place south of their "promised land" that they could be BUT that is where God spoke to them individually. Do you believe you are so far away from where God's "promised land" is for you that there is no hearing His voice? Be encouraged fellow traveler when we think we are at the farthest point from our destination....God's plan for us......just maybe we have a Mt. Sinai coming our way. Do you believe that God wants to speak to you? Not just your pastor or your favorite Bible Study teacher....but to YOU! His Word is living and active. Will you allow Him to speak tenderly to you...even if it means He takes you to the desert?

"Come let us return to the Lord. He has torn us to pieces but He will heal us., He has injured us but He will bind up our wounds. . After two days He will revive us; on the third day he will restore us, that we may live in His presence. Let us acknowledge the Lord; let us press on to acknowledge Him. As surely as the sun rises, He will appear; He will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth. "
Hosea 6:1-3

Lord thank you for speaking tenderly to me. Thank you for being my hope in the middle of a storm. You have indeed been the lifter of my head. You have heard my cry and have continued to prove Yourself faithful to me. I want to acknowledge You. I know that as surely as the sun sets you are coming back. I believe everything You say about who You are and who I am in You. I think you for your grace that even though I have sinned against You....even though I have acted like a still allure me and speak tenderly to me and long to make me like Your Son.