It was a misty-moisty morning—and afternoon—and evening. Even though church felt short, my body ached all over from sitting still. Don shared on the importance of doctrine and Papa read a synchronized Christmas story. I wish there was more about Mary. She must’ve been a devoted girl, since she was chosen to carry God’s Son—His gift to the world. Her attitude as portrayed through her words is inspiring: “I am Yahweh’s handmaid. Be it done as you have said.” I, too, have been chosen to carry God’s Son—His gift to the world—though in a different way. May I always be humble, pure, eager to submit the Yahweh, quick to say, “I am Yahweh’s handmaid. May it be done as He says.”
The hot tub seemed inviting for the first time since I’d cleaned it, so I turned the heat up on it and changed into bathing attire, excited about a warm, bubbly soak. Very slowly the temperature rose from seventy degrees until it was finally eighty-seven. Outside it grew darker, colder and less inviting. Finally we gave up waiting and waded in. Eighty-seven degrees is not a warm hot-tub on a cold, rainy day. I huddled in front of a jet, careful to stay as much under the water as possible, for nearly twenty minutes before climbing out and dashing inside. My legs were covered in tiny, red bumps and I shivered out of my soggy clothes and into the shower. Once dressed, I could barely remember every feeling so cozy. It’s an interesting phenomenon how often we forget how good we have it, until we experience something worse.
While waiting on Tabby’s weekly phone call, I slogged through Hosea. It’s a pretty discouraging book, most of the time, and I can hardly wonder. God must have felt pretty discouraged with Israel’s unfaithfulness, as Hosea must have felt pretty discouraged with his wife’s. The words “faithful” and “loyal” are repeated over and over and over again. Always, I am convicted of my own unfaithfulness—how quick I am to run to other dreams and desires, to carve out idols and worship them. God says “I will betroth you to Me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and in justice, in lovingkindness and in compassion, and I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness. Then you will know Yahweh.” In the same way, I have been betrothed to Christ, and should walk in righteousness, justice, mercy, compassion and faithfulness, even as He has shown those toward me. And then we have the plea, “Come, let us return to Yahweh! Let us know, let us press on to know Yahweh.” The picture in Hosea may be a bleak one, but it is only because Israel’s deeds prevent her from repenting. To those who turn upward and eagerly press to know the Lord, He delights to answer and to take them again in His loving arms.
Lord, Thou only asked that I would be
A loyal, faithful bride for Thee,
But Thou are of such mercy, Lord,
That even I can be restored.
Though I have wandered time again
Into the arms of self and sin
I know that Thou wilt always be
Waiting for me faithfully.