Enduring Love vii

Hosea 14:1-9 (CEV)

 Turn Back to the Lord

14 Israel, return! Come back
to the Lord, your God.
    Sin has made you fall.
Return to the Lord and say,
    “Please forgive our sins.
Accept our good sacrifices
    of praise instead of bulls.
Assyria can’t save us,
    and chariots can’t help.
So we will no longer worship
    the idols we have made.
Our Lord, you show mercy
    to orphans.”

The Lord Promises To Forgive

Israel, you have rejected me,
    but my anger is gone;
I will heal you and love you
    without limit.
I will be like the dew—
then you will blossom like lilies
    and have roots like a tree.
Your branches will spread
with the beauty
    of an olive tree
and with the aroma
    of Lebanon Forest.
You will rest in my shade,
    and your grain will grow.
You will blossom
    like a vineyard
and be famous as the wine
    from Lebanon.

Israel, give up your idols!
I will answer your prayers
    and take care of you.
I am that glorious tree,
    the source of your fruit.

If you are wise, you will know
    and understand what I mean.
I am the Lord, and I lead you
    along the right path.
If you obey me,
    we will walk together,
but if you are wicked,
    you will stumble.

It has not worked out
as I may have imagined,
the things I thought
could save me
have let me down.
I was wrong.
I made bad choices,
got distracted
from what really matters,
was swayed by the crowd,
attracted by the shiny…

And so,
I come back to you Lord,
and I ask your forgiveness.

You promise
never to reject me,
to accept me,
to love me without limit.

You know what the image of a tree means to me.
Life has left me
feeling dry,
lifeless,
fruitless,
having no purpose

2012-11-11 14.29.22But you
promise me life,
strong roots,
spreading out in beauty.
I can rest in you
and there will be beauty
and purpose

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn your shade,
I will flourish again.

So,
I come to you Lord,
seeking your rest
and your restoration.
Work in me,
I pray,
that we may walk together
into all
that you have prepared.

Thank you for loving me.
Thank you for saving me.
Thank you for tending my wounds.
Thank you for supporting me.
Thank you for rebuilding me
in your strength
and love.

Come, Let Us Return

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