“For the LORD has ransomed Jacob
and has redeemed him from hands too strong for him.
They shall come and sing aloud on the height of Zion,
and they shall be radiant over the goodness of the LORD,
over the grain, the wine, and the oil,
and over the young of the flock and the herd;
their life shall be like a watered garden,
and they shall languish no more.
Then shall the young women rejoice in the dance,
and the young men and the old shall be merry.
I will turn their mourning into joy;
I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow.
I will feast the soul of the priests with abundance,
and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness,
declares the LORD…
Keep your voice from weeping,
and your eyes from tears,
for there is a reward for your work,
declares the LORD,
and they shall come back from the land of the enemy.
There is hope for your future,
declares the LORD,
and your children shall come back to their own country.
I have heard Ephraim grieving,..
‘You have disciplined me, and I was disciplined;
bring me back that I may be restored,
for you are the LORD my God.
After I had turned away, I relented…
I was ashamed, and I was confounded,
because I bore the disgrace of my youth.’
Is Ephraim my dear son?
Is he my darling child?
I do remember him still.
Therefore my heart yearns for him;
I will surely have mercy on him,
declares the LORD.” Jeremiah 31:11-14,16-20
Is there any balm, any glorious deliverance, like redemption from the Lord? Realizing and embracing the true truth that we have been ransomed– our sins atoned for, our deserved penalty paid– and that Jesus has redeemed our souls and will redeem every aspect of our life, breaks open our faces with infectious smiles, our mouths in glad and grateful song, and spreads His radiance abroad on everything. We are His darling child!
Circumstances may press and suffocate, broken communication can confuse or disrupt relationships, physical limitations might impose discouragement. God knows the distance of our wandering, the measure of our languishing, the depth of our mourning, and yearns longingly to restore us. His knowledge of all that concerns us, and His attending promise of mercy and hope, bring light to a bleak outlook, and delightful melody to a grieving heart. What is too heavy for us our Savior carries, leaving us holding only love-kissed grace. (Matthew 11:28-30)
What causes us to plod in dusty dry spaces of bitter resentment and woe-is-me, when the Lord makes for us watered gardens and merriment? Why do we default to caustic criticism and whiny complaining, when Jesus offers contentment and gladness? What restricts a clear perspective, forcing near-sightedness fixed on discomfort and irritation over expectant hope for the long-term, glad anticipation for our Father’s promised reward, return, and redemption? Would we search our hearts and address these hindrances to enjoying the fullness of His deliverance? God uses shame over our sin, disappointment for missed opportunities, disgrace and regret over our straying, all to humble us unto repentance and freedom. (Philippians 4:4,6-7,11)
Merciful Lord, may I ever rejoice in our eternal dance, radiating the excellencies of Your bountiful redemption.