Reading: Hosea 11: 1-4
“If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a million times”. This oft-quoted parenting line may be familiar to you. It’s familiarity is closely followed by the line, “When will you listen”? This second line is probably thought more than it is shared! Both seem to be staples of parenting. As parents we try to reach out children all they need to know to grow into mature young adults. We pour all we can into them hoping they turn out well. When they stumble or fail, we love them anyway and we continue to pour our love and guidance into them. They are ours and we love them dearly.
As one reads the Hosea passage, one can imagine God saying or thinking these familiar parenting lines. Verse two particularly stood out to me: “The more I called Israel, the further they went from me”. There are times when we too have felt as if our child had done exactly the opposite of what we asked. So, as parents, we can relate to the frustration God is voicing about His children.
When I reflect on my life, I do not have to think too long or too hard to recall many times when I am sure I disappointed or frustrated God. There is a long list of missed opportunities and poor decisions that I am sure leave God shaking His head. My heavenly Father says over and over again, “John, when will you…?”
The love we know and experience as earthly parents is just a fraction of the heavenly love God has for us, His earthly children. No matter how many times we fail, question His love, or choose something other than His will or way for us, His love never changes. His love remains steadfast and true. May our grateful response this day be to share His amazing love with all we meet.