Daily Devotions: Day Two

 [My people] insist on turning away from me. They will cry out because of the yoke that is on them, but no one will lift it from them. “How can I give you up, Israel? How can I abandon you? Could I ever destroy you as I did Admah, or treat you as I did Zeboiim? My heart will not let me do it! My love for you is too strong. Hosea 11:7-8, GNT


     My wife is a patient person. I give her frequent opportunities to put this virtue into practice. Practice does make perfect, so the saying goes.

     I met Cathy in Middle School. We even skated a slow song together while holding hands. This is a big deal for a shy teenager like I was.

     High school led us down different paths. We reconnected at the home of some friends nearly twelve years later. I fell in love the moment I saw her enter the door. She claims to have done the same.

     The problem is that I was scared. I had exited a relationship that left me deeply wounded. Cathy made several attempts to draw close to me. I resisted her overtures for fear of rejection. She eventually became sufficiently frustrated to tell me what she thought. I thought she had had enough. I was wrong. Instead, she slammed the door to my car closed and shouted, “I am going to love you whether you want me to or not.”

     This essentially is the message God delivered to Israel through the prophet, Hosea. God continually had reached out to share His love with the Jewish people. The Israelites, however, resisted God’s proposals. Like me, they were afraid of being rejected, not by God, but by the people who lived around them.

     Regardless of the source or reasoning, fear of rejection makes us do strange things. Fear is the culprit that kept me from drawing too close to God for so many years. I was afraid that God wouldn’t like what he saw in me. My adverse thoughts. My lousy attitude. My selfish dreams.

     The good news is that God loves me enough not to slam the door on our relationship. Instead, he chose to love me whether I wanted Him to or not. Patience in God’s case is stronger than my fears. Thank goodness.

     So, fear not, my friend. Don’t allow your fear of rejection to wedge a gap between you and your Creator. God’s love for you is greater than any part of your life you’d rather He not see.

     Oh, it might be of interest for you to know that I fell the first time I skated with Cathy. And I thank God, I did. Because I’ve been falling for her ever since.