Today our sweet 2-year-old granddaughter turns THREE!! I continue to store up memories that only grandchildren can bestow. Her memory, however, is a bit different:
For example, our dear one won’t remember the day she received her wonderful cartoon bed as a gift from her parents. Her dad found it especially for Christmas, modeled after a favorite anime character, and it is as soft and comfortable and cute as can be. At two and a half, however, her brain is so busy forming a gazillion neuro-pathways that it’s a little hard to remember things like that. So, although someday she might wonder where it came from or how long she’s had it, she also won’t remember the technologically engineered infant car seat that kept her safe and secure during a minor wreck. Or the first day she walked into their new house, pet their big dog, or went to church. As she gets older, these things will have “just always been there” for her, not unlike the food on the table, or the clothes that she can choose from every day.
Eventually, however, because of very good parenting, she will realize these things didn’t just happen by chance, but were very intentional on the part of her loving parents, with her in mind.
I wish we adults could be so wise.
In a similar vein, God chooses the Old Testament prophet, Hosea, to very graphically, (VERY graphically), illustrate His relationship with His people, Israel. Hosea didn’t have a very enjoyable marriage from the get-go. Without going into too much detail, he probably had a fairly good idea what he was getting into when God specifically told him to marry the prostitute, Gomer. As was to be expected, Gomer wasn’t faithful to her new husband, and the resulting tragic home life went on public display as apt example of how God viewed Israel’s unfaithfulness to Himself.
The nation had been going after “other gods”, crediting these “gods” with all the provision and blessing that their Yahweh God had so lavishly bestowed upon them:
“She doesn’t realize it was I who gave her everything she has…”
Similar to the book of Jeremiah, God weeps over His family’s betrayal. And, amazingly like other lamenting prophets, He also predicts the return of His people, with the resulting restoration of relationship and blessing. Unfortunately, there were some consequences that needed to be muddled through—no surprise there—but there was always a remnant, a ray of hope, and a road to recovery.
A good place to start is the recognition of the goodness and provision of God in ways that I am very apt to under-appreciate (it’s just always been there, like air and water), or mistakenly attribute to other sources (like my own industriousness). Well-placed thankfulness does wonders for personal perspective.
My granddaughter will eventually learn of her parents’ loving care, even when (or maybe, especially when) she wasn’t aware of it. Hopefully, I can continue to do the same.
Hosea 2:8 Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.