When our granddaughter turned five, we surprised her with a date at a dinner theater where her favorite musical, “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat” was playing.
Though she knew we were taking her somewhere, we didn’t tell her the details until we had been on the road for a few minutes. It was a good thing she was buckled into her seat, as her disappointment at going to a musical that she’d already seen was big enough that we might not have convinced her to go if she had still been home.
As parents and grandparents, we learn that sometimes our hearts will be hurt by the little ones we love.
God’s word shows that our rejection hurts his heart. There is pain in God’s word as He gives Jeremiah the message for Judah and Israel in Jeremiah 2-5.
“My people are foolish and do not know me,” says the Lord. “They are stupid children who have no understanding. They are clever enough at doing wrong, but they have no idea how to do right!” (Jeremiah 4:22)
Jeremiah has the unenviable task of relaying these words of coming destruction because the people have not only ignored God, but have also embraced other gods, gods made of wood and stone, gods that they worship when things are going well.
Sometimes it helps us understand the bleeding heart of God to compare it to a family situation.
Do you know someone whose child has continuously rejected the good their parents do for them, the wise counsel they speak into the child?
…..the disobedience to household rules
…..the disregard of family property
…..the disrespect in cursing their parents
…..the disengagement of two-way communication
…..the destruction of trust, though given multiple opportunities
If you do, then you have a glimpse of the pain men and women bring to God when we turn away from him.
Desperate parents learn tough love, matching behavior and consequences. It isn’t easy, but love seeks the best for the beloved, not one’s own comfort. And like the father in the story of the prodigal son, the parents continue watching for the return, arms open to the wounded, pig-pen-smelling child.
Even when we break the heart of God, and discipline comes hard and hurtful, he promises “Yet even in those days I will not blot you out completely.” (Jeremiah 5:18)
This is what God wants from us “Only acknowledge your guilt. Admit that you rebelled against the Lord your God and committed adultery against him by worshiping idols under every green tree. Confess that you refused to listen to my voice….Return home, you wayward children.” (Jeremiah 3:13,14)
He wants us to “plow up the hard ground of your hearts!…..surrender your pride and power. Change your hearts before the Lord.” (Jeremiah 4:3,4) Humble yourself today, and feel the Father’s arms wrap around you as He rejoices over you.
P.S. By the way, when I asked our granddaughter at intermission what she thought, her response was, “I can’t talk about it until it is all over because it is magic!”