“Come, let us return to the LORD. For He has torn us, but He will heal us; He has wounded us, but He will bandage us. He will revive us after two days; He will raise us up on the third day, that we may live before Him. So let us know, let us press on to know the LORD. His going forth is as certain as the dawn; and He will come to us like the rain, like the spring rain watering the earth.” ~Hosea 6:1-3, NKJV
I don’t feel very much alive today. I feel shriveled, like a tender seedling in the hot, dry July sun. Ironic, isn’t it? This week, my week to choose a topic–and I chose life–is the week that I crash. Huh. What should I make of that?
Reading in Hosea today, I find myself in a mix of angles. Discipline is never pleasant–and honestly, I’m not rightly sure of the reason for this particular drought–but I see in scripture that God always has an intent. It isn’t random.
I used the word shriveled–because that describes perfectly how I feel today, and yesterday, and the day before–and that isn’t fun. But as I look at this call from Hosea, an image comes to mind. My husband just got a new toy for our landscape. I call it the flame-thrower. It’s a propane fueled torch used to keep the weeds at bay in our driveway and among my many flower beds. You don’t actually burn the weeds, though. You torch them, and they wither.
There are a lot of withered weeds in my yard right now.
Perhaps there are a lot of withering weeds in my heart right now.
Good things grow best when there aren’t weeds competing for life. Things like patience and perseverance and kindness and encouragement, rather than frustration and discouragement and envy and negativity. Perhaps the shriveling I feel is the death of those weeds.
Which means that life will follow. Good life, producing good things.