“Come, let us return to the Lord;
for he has torn us, that he may heal us;
he has struck us down, and he will bind us up.
After two days he will revive us;
on the third day he will raise us up,
that we may live before him.
Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord;
his going out is sure as the dawn;
he will come to us as the showers,
as the spring rains that water the earth.” Hosea 6:1-3
Every tear in confidence, or a relationship, can be healed; every blow to body, or dreams, or security, can be bound in the soothing embrace and care of the Savior. He who knew all and bore all died to redeem all. “He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief… Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.” To Him we are called to return, to identify with Him, that we may be revived and live. (Isaiah 53:3-5)
God’s children suffer seasons, limited ‘days’ of suffering, longing, pain, long enough to realize the futility of the downward gaze, and to turn our faces upward for rescue to the One who surely comes. In depleted strength, when we can stand the darkness no longer, He arrives sure as the dawn, and we find fresh life in Him. “Say to those who have an anxious heart, ‘Be strong; fear not! Behold, your God will come… He will come and save you.’” (Isaiah 35:4)
Where have we strayed following disordered affections, pursuing idols, spending inordinate time on fruitless endeavors? Where have we allowed ourselves to wander into worldly thinking, prurient entertainment, a selfish mindset, or stubborn independence? The paths are many which lead us away from God, yet if we give attention, we hear His call, “Return!”
Are we thirsty from a drought of identity, of vision, of knowing the right way forward? Is our soul barren of hope, or holy desire, or willingness to forgive? Are we bereft of any discipline, any drive, any motivation? Have we neglected, or isolated ourselves from, friends with whom we can grow, who will boldly speak truth in love, challenge bad habits, and build us up in Christ? Hear His voice say, “Come. Let us press on to know the Lord.” He invites us together, He brings fresh showers for us to drink, and soak up, and find energy. He is like dew, falling upon us to drown out inertia, spark growth, and bring beauty and flourishing. (Hosea 14:5-7; Ephesians 4:15-16)
As the earth spins in orbit and daily greets the sun, our Lord is sure, and will surely come. He does not always accuse or harbor anger against whatever rent us, but lavishes love and compassion. He who bids us come to Him comes to meet us, with open arms. (Psalm 103:4-5,8-13)
What need I release to return to my Lord? What need I resolve to persist in pressing on to know Him?
Merciful Lord, captivate and direct my determination to come to You with all I am, and to press on in knowing, adoring, serving, and honoring You.