The Afterthought

 

 "Oh, how can I give you up Israel? How can I let you go? How can I destroy you like Admah Zeboim? My heart is turned over within Me, and My compassion overflows." Hosea 11:8

 

I recently heard a missionary to Namibia give a wonderful illustration of the love, compassion, and heart of God. She and her husband minister in a nation where starvation is common. One of the places she goes to is a local garbage dump where many children can be found sorting through the trash for food, or discarded items that they can sell. Feeding them is one part of her ministry, and many of the children show the obvious signs of hunger. As she related all this, she said she was reminded of how we in America can so often view those pictures we see of starving, skeletal children in places of great need. Children whose ribs show through, whose faces resemble skulls with skin on. These pictures often move the hearts of those watching. The connection she made spiritually with all this should pierce our hearts and minds. She said that spiritually, that is exactly how the Father sees those who are lost and living apart from Him. To that thought, I add, it is also how He sees those of His children who do not live as His children, but as orphans. As those who don't realize their inheritance in Him. Skeletal, starving children. In the spiritual realm, that is exactly how we look to Him. Our proud, self-sufficient hearts have a very hard time accepting that. The Lord Himself said that we think ourselves rich, and in need of nothing. To His eyes and heart of compassion, we are anything but.

Hosea spoke for the Father to a people much like we in the west. God's people Israel had wandered very far from the heart of the God they said they followed. They no longer saw their need of Him. Neither could they see Him. He had become an afterthought. How much of an afterthought is He to you and I? Yes, we may go to church, give money, even have our daily "time" with Him. But in our moment by moment lives, is He a present reality, or an afterthought? We give attention to Him only after we've given our attention to everything else. He has given us the Bread of Life in Jesus Christ, but we prefer sorting through the garbage dumps of the world and the counterfeit "foods" to be found there. We are skeletal, spiritual beings in the eyes of heaven, but not to our own.

So, where do you and I actually fit in all of this? What do we really look like to Him? Are we children of the King, partaking of the food of His Kingdom, the abundance of His Life? Or orphans, picking through the trash of this world, hoping to find some kind of life giving nourishment there, but failing every time? Does His heart turn over within Him as He views our degree of life, of our total lack of real Life? Does He see a spiritual life that is literal skin and bones, starving to death by inches? Like the good lady, He has come to our garbage dump offering the food of His Kingdom, the Bread of the Life of Christ. Orphans no more to Him, and He no longer an afterthought to us. How can He give us up? How can He give you up? He can't. Yet we can give Him up. Have we? Have you?

Blessings,
Pastor O

 

 

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