One month and counting in Maine, and we have been BUSY. Church events, planning a youth ministry from scratch and this house. Y’all. This. House. I can’t wait to share our finished product. And honestly, for the changes we are able to make now it shouldn’t be too much longer before we can do the big reveal! Wahooo!!!
One blessing, though, in our move is substantially bigger than the updates we are making toward making this house our home, and all the other activities we are involved in – it’s time with the Lord. What an extravagant gift! I’ve had the privilege to be involved in an awesome women’s Bible study (‘Breathe’ by Priscilla Shirer – it’s awesome!!), and in my read straight-thru the Bible, I have just made it through Hosea. I am loving this beautiful land. This quiet. This time.
And today, God blessed me with a Word from Him He knew I desperately needed to hear. And honestly, it’s my new favorite passage of scripture:
Healing for the Repentant
1 Return, O Israel, to the Lord your God,
for your sins have brought you down.
2 Bring your confessions, and return to the Lord.
Say to him,
“Forgive all our sins and graciously receive us,
so that we may offer you our praises.
3 Assyria cannot save us,
nor can our warhorses.
Never again will we say to the idols we have made,
‘You are our gods.’
No, in you alone
do the orphans find mercy.”
4 The Lord says,
“Then I will heal you of your faithlessness;
my love will know no bounds,
for my anger will be gone forever.
5 I will be to Israel
like a refreshing dew from heaven.
Israel will blossom like the lily;
it will send roots deep into the soil
like the cedars in Lebanon.
6 Its branches will spread out like beautiful olive trees,
as fragrant as the cedars of Lebanon.
7 My people will again live under my shade.
They will flourish like grain and blossom like grapevines.
They will be as fragrant as the wines of Lebanon.
8 “O Israel, stay away from idols!
I am the one who answers your prayers and cares for you.
I am like a tree that is always green;
all your fruit comes from me.”
9 Let those who are wise understand these things.
Let those with discernment listen carefully.
The paths of the Lord are true and right,
and righteous people live by walking in them.
But in those paths sinners stumble and fall.
I stand in awe. His love is extravagant. It is all we need. HE is all we need.
So many times All the time my prayers are asking and pleading and begging…and every time His answer is the same: I am the Lord Who provides.
How beautiful that His love knows no bounds!! He is even our SHADE!! (And on days as hot as today, I can fully appreciate that attribute – and I’m sure you can too!) We don’t just serve a god who makes us happy in this moment. We serve the Almighty God, the Creator who provides for our every need.
I am like a tree that is always green; all your fruit comes from me. Hosea 14:8b
He asks us to follow Him, and He will provide. Stop for a moment this afternoon and reflect on that for a moment…Whatever it is you are worrying about and stressing over, give it up to God. Fully surrender to Him. He. Will. Provide.
Return…to the Lord…for your sins have brought you down…Forgive all our sins and graciously receive us [Lord], so that we may offer You our praises.
Hosea 14:1-2 (emphasis & editing mine)