Hi! It’s been a little bit since I've had anything to blog-"blogger's block" as I've heard others refer to it. (I'm mildly puzzled as to how someone who always has something to say could run out of things to write, but that's another subject...) I just don't know how I could get too busy to blog, what with a BUSY toddler, Nathan's medical and school needs to manage, a Women's Ministry to coordinate, a husband to take care of (okay-he's getting better and better at taking care of himself, I must give him credit!!), a house to keep clean enough for the health dept. to not shut down, and all that while balancing precariously up on this "Pastor's Wife Pedestal" from which I am supposed to give the appearance that everything's cool!
So, amazingly enough, I found time to read in Hosea today. (Dire prophetic warnings go great with musical accompaniment from Dora the Explorer, by the way. Kind of like a "We can do it!" soundtrack for those rebellious Hebrews to get it together!)
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I have been reading the "Captivating" book. One of its central themes is that we, both women and men, are created in God's image, so our feminine traits embody aspects of God's character just like men do. This was brought to my attention in the passages from Hosea that I read this morning.
Having been a Daddy's girl I have always related to God as my "Abba, Father" or "Daddy, God", and I must admit that I have never really thought of God much as a 'Mother figure', but these beautiful passages shed a new light on God's abundant love for us in a poetic word picture of motherly love.
Chapter 11, verse 1 of Hosea states "When Israel was a child, I loved him, And out of Egypt I called My son." Verse 3 continues, "I taught Ephraim to walk, Taking them by their arms; But they did not know that I healed them. I drew them with gentle cords, With bands of love, And I was to them as those who take the yoke from their neck. I stooped and fed them." (NKJV)
What a beautiful, moving picture of God tenderly caring for His people, like a gentle mother who carefully and gently teaches her little one to walk. She patiently holds their hand and safely watches over each tiny, precarious step. She selflessly and patiently bends low to give them nourishment and vigilantly tends their sicknesses until their healing is restored.
The pathos of a mother's heart is illustrated again in the yearning, almost broken voice of God in verse 8 and 9, "How can I give you up, Ephraim? How can I hand you over, Israel? How can I make you like Admah? How can I set you like Zeboiim? My heart churns within Me; My sympathy is stirred. I will not execute the fierceness of My anger; I will not again destroy Ephraim." (NKJV) Every mother who has ever had to discipline their precious child empathizes with the emotion contained in those verses! We know the dilemma of our heart, which demands that we enforce difficult consequences so that a lesson can be learned, even when we yearn to shield that child from every hurt, every difficulty.
Earlier in Chapter 6, verse 1 the prophet calls, "Come, and let us return to the Lord; For He has torn, but He will heal us; He has stricken, but He will bind us up." Upon first reading those words, one might wonder how God could inflict harm knowing that He will then turn and heal and comfort. But in light of the illustration of God's maternal-like love for us, this passage becomes a poignant promise that His anger is not without tenderness; His righteousness is tempered with undeserved mercy.
These passages call to mind Jesus' cry over the city of Jerusalem, "Oh Jerusalem, Jerusalem...How often I have wanted to gather your children together as a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings, but you wouldn't let me." (Matt 23:37 NLT) As Jesus is the Man-God, the physical embodiment of the divine God, his heart continues to be poured out in that maternal, all-consuming love for his little ones.
What an awesome, astonishing look into the heart of our God! As I love and tend to my precious children in the next few days I will ask the Holy Spirit to remind me that God's love is poured out in my life in a similar, unreserved fashion. May we all take some time to bask in it!
I'm Allison and I am a wife, a mom, and a pastor's wife. I'm trying to add a touch of lovely to my everyday life with decorating, fashion, my family, God's presence or all of the above.
- ► 2007 (37)