I am a very emotional person.
Feelings are something that keeps recurring in my thoughts and words, more than I realize, more than I like to admit.
It doesn't feel right to me. I feel depressed. You made me feel so loved. I'm on cloud nine. I just feel so discouraged.
I'm especially aware of this when I go through what I call 'bruised-reed moods'--can't pinpoint a concrete reason for feeling so discouraged and feeble; maybe it was an accumulation of little things, but whatever it was, it made me feel weak, crushed, emotionally frail and helpless.
Often my feelings are in direct conflict with God--the main thing making it so hard.
I feel like You're not there, You're not hearing me, You don't care about me.
This makes me feel so good, I can't give it up!
I feel like I've burnt out trying, doing, giving; I can't anymore, Lord.
I know I should find my peace and joy and satisfaction in You, but I don't feel like I do.
I know You love me but I'm not feeling it.
I know I should trust You but I just feel so afraid and worried about what's happened, what's going to happen.
But hey. Feelings aren't bad. Remember that relatively rare bliss you felt when something in your devotional reading speaks to you like a megaphone--when you've prayed with your heart bleeding in your tears, and looked up with peace given to you--when you can feel His love for you, as tangibly as if He was a physically present Friend giving you a hug--?
What if our feelings glorified God? What if my feelings were an additional motivation to me in loving Him better, serving Him better, witnessing for Him better, instead of being the opposite force?
Our emotions mustn't become our god. They were meant for us to worship our Creator with; to enhance our understanding of Him, relationship with Him, and love of Him.
"I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely." Hosea 14:4
When the Israelites repented of their sins, God forgave them--more than forgave them.
I wondered when I first read this verse why the word healed. After all, it's not the usual word you use with backsliding.
Why not forgive, or forget, or overlook?
How can anyone heal backsliding?
No one can.
No one can heal mistakes, failures, sins, much as we wish we could.
But God can. He is all powerful; and if He's said He will heal our backsliding, He can--and He will.
I felt humbly in awe when the full meaning of 'heal their backsliding' hit me.
Lord--can You really, will You really do this?Undo all my mistakes, failures, sins--as if they weren't there?Can I hope for something as amazing and miraculous as that? I've made so many bad choices. There are so many tragic consequences that follow when I backslide. Can You really erase all that, as it were?
Heal. No more feeling as if I ruined my life irrevocably. No more ceaseless, hopeless regret and shame and guilt.
And not only that; He will 'love us freely'.
God loves us. Most of us know that phrase. But consider that, after considering all that He has seen and known--which is everything--of our backsliding. And freely at that! Without even the least shadow of resentment, dissatisfaction, reluctance, or a grudge that we took so long to repent. As if we had never failed Him and sinned against Him--as if we were coming to Him for the first time in repentance, not the hundredth time. I couldn't do that. If I were ever in God's place, in a relationship like the one I have with Him, I would be cynical and grudging and dubious, and I couldn't continue to forgive, much less love, freely.
He will heal our backsliding, and He will love us freely. What keeps us from repenting, when it means returning to such a good God.
a small voice
Ci thinks some of God's greatest blessings to mankind are
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