While it's always good to reflect on the goodness of our God, I think one of the reasons it's been on my mind so much is because of some old friends. I've been reconnecting with some old (as in 'from the past' not 'aged'!) friends through this wonderful thing that's called Facebook. And as we've begun to share where we're at, where we've been and what we have hope for, the topic of Grace has come up several times.
We've all screwed up somewhere - somehow. Sometimes deliberately, sometimes blindly, sometimes just because we weren't paying attention and we somehow managed to wander off the path. But for each of us, in our different situations and circumstances we have come to understand the power and beauty of God's Grace. It's nothing we deserve, nothing we can earn...but none the less, it is there.
I love the book of Hosea. Yeah, Hosea - it's a small little book in the Old Testament hidden right behind Daniel. I love this book because it's all about redemption and restoration. It's all about how God not only NEVER gives up on us but that even when we've hit bottom - rejecting him and all he is in the process - he still comes to us. In fact, Hosea says he 'woos' us...
(Oooh, for us girls, when's the last time you were 'wooed.')
Therefore I am now going to allure her;
I will lead her into 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.
I love this portion of scripture! He calls tenderly to you and me, he seeks to restore that which we have lost, and he gives us HOPE!
And it gets better! Did you know that 'Achor' means 'troubles'? Who hasn't had 'troubles' ... problems...difficulties...some of us have truly had valleys full of troubles. But God promises us he will take our valley of troubles and turn them into a door of hope.
"And we know that in all things God works for the good
of those who love him." (Rom 8:28)
That is God's grace! We mess up, he lets us wallow or wander for awhile, but then he calls us back with tender words of love and mercy, restores that which we have lost and turns our troubles into doors of HOPE!
Ah, just sit and think about that for a while...
But remember, even though God will open the door, you still have to walk through it. If you're anything like me, this at times can be scary. We feel embarrased or ashamed - or we just think God is mad at us. But we have no reason to be afraid. God assures us that we can "approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and grace to help us in our time of need." (Heb 5:16)
Wow, well this certainly was a much longer random thought than I thought it was going to be. But maybe it wasn't so random at all - instead, maybe it was because once again I needed to hear God speak tenderly to me and know that he is always wanting and waiting to 'woo' me back. And as I sat and wrote these words to share my heart and encourage those who may read it, I find myself encouraged. I feel...God's grace.