Sunday, December 10

Ropes of Kindness and Love

The kids and I played hooky from church today because we're all recovering from yet another head cold. Josh volunteered in the media booth, so he had to leave home at 6am this morning. Unfortunately, he didn't get home from work until about 1am last night and is at work again tonight. Poor guy. ;-( He does love volunteering at Cross Point, though -- it's just hard when an early morning is sandwiched in between two nights of work.

Anyway, I was reading my one-year Bible this morning, and this verse jumped out at me:

Hosea 11:4 - "I led Israel along with my ropes of kindness and love. I lifted the yoke from his neck, and I myself stooped to feed him."

What an encouraging glimpse of God's character! Does anyone else other than me sometimes (okay, regularly) need reassurance that God is going to continue meeting our needs, leading us along with his ropes of kindness and love? I know that I do! No matter how he's come through for me in the past, my human heart is shamefully forgetful. I hate to admit it, but it's true.

I love Bible verses that give us visual pictures, and this one definitely qualifies. I imagine a cord reaching from heaven right into my life, an invisible cord that has been there my whole life and is woven into the intricacies of each blessing and each decision that has brought me to today.

Josh and I have talked recently about how the nature of our work (day jobs, night jobs, and regular leaps of faith) makes it obvious to us that God has "stooped to feed us" many times over the past two years. Although part of me misses the "security" of a 9-5 salaried job, I can see that our self-employment jobs are a blessing because they tie us directly back to God's gracious hand -- freelancing projects, new clients, and generous tips at the restaurant. We don't necessarily have a company or boss to attribute our finances to, so our gratitude goes directly to God.

But...I think that direct tie is also why I worry sometimes -- worried that I'll do something wrong to cut off his grace or that he'll change his mind about me or about meeting my needs. This verse tells me that it's not about me. It's about HIS kindness, HIS love. And on this side of the Cross, it's all about Jesus' righteousness that makes me worthy of God's love.

If, like me, concern or worry [gasp!] ever grips your heart, know that God has lifted that yoke from your neck. Trust that his ropes of kindness and love will lead you along the right path he intends for your life. I fully expect that part of his love will lead me through difficult times in order to grow me and shape me. And that's okay.

I am so grateful for the way God uses his Word to directly answer prayers and remind me of what an amazing Father he is.

You don't have to comment here, but just think about this: how have you seen God's ropes of kindness and love weaving through your life and holding you up at just the right times?

1 comment:

Shelley said...

Jen, I just loved that post. That is such a precious verse and I'm going to write it on a card and put it near my rocking chair. I'm so proud of you and Josh doing what you feel God has called you to do. You're right. What you are doing is a step of faith! God will bless your obedience and your children have the opportunity to view that in practice. That alone is priceless! My parents were self employed much of their lives. I've seen them make a TON of money and not so much money, but through it all, and I do mean all, they have weathered the good and bad times. But I know I am richer b/c of their godliness through it all. btw that last poster on your "blended salad" blog was my mother. :-) So glad you tried the salad. I always feel healthier after I eat mine too!! Keep it up.