I grew up dreading it. The infamous Christmas card picture. Having to fake natural. Worried about what to wear. Inconvenienced by the effort. You, too?
But, my mom was determined to capture just the right one: with our faces looking forward, eyes open, angelic smiles gleaming in unison, and poses in oh-not-so-natural stances (arms around each other, pah-leeeez…).
Now that I am a mom, I get it. I want to seize the moments and freeze them in time. These precious moments that seem to drip like liquid through my fingers. I long to savor the fighting, laughing, and complaining while they are still under my roof. Savor the coordinated outfits that they begrudging put on. Savor my 3 little heartbeats that fit within a 4 x 6 glossy rectangular frame.
Sigh. I get it now, Mom.
This year, I casually threw in some clothes and the tripod anticipating a perfect photo opp in St. Simons Island, GA. And yes, the opportunity came before dinner when the light was just right. The babe was fidgeting and uncooperative, but, in-between fits, we snapped a wonderful scene with toy car in hand. Even though I had to photo erase the Nike and Puma logos off the big boys’ shirts, I love it. It captures our family…in 2013.
As we have experienced and you may have too, attitudes can color the internal photography captured within those moments. Often, the smiling faces in 2D hold a story of dramatic attitude explosions in real-time.
But, my husband. My man. He faithfully leads the charge in sweetness even though taking pictures is not his thing. But because it’s important to me, it’s important to him. By his example and expectation, all my boys “love gift” me with sweetness and smiles in the multitude of attempts and poses. His gift of steady faithfulness year after year springs from the love in his heart. For me.
I will betroth you to Me forever;
I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in loving-kindness and mercy.
I will betroth you in faithfulness, and you will acknowledge the Lord.
Today, we unwrap the final one listed in this chapter:
- someone to lean on,
- to be carried,
- having or showing true and constant support or loyalty,
- being there year after year,
- keeping your promises or doing what you are supposed to do
Through Hosea’s persevering love for Gomer, we see what supportive, loyal, steady, constant, dependable faithfulness looks like as it carries her to restoration and redemption.
And God, in His persevering love for me and you, promises to always be faithful, always supportive, always loyal, always true to His promises… despite:
- my attitude
- my performance
- my behavior
- my faithfulness
- my sin
- my sadness
- my rejection
- my anger
- my doubt
- my disbelief
- my grief
- my despair.
I can ALWAYS count on what He says He will do. His love perseveres. Always.
- If He says He loves me, He does. “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” 1 John 3:1
- If He says He will protect me, He will. “You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.” Psalm 32:7
- If He says He is working things out in my life, He is. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28
- If He says He will never leave me, He won’t. “God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.'” Hebrews 13:5
- If He says I am precious, I am. “Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you.” Isaiah 43:4
- If He says He has a great plan for me, He does. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
There is no expiration date on His faithfulness. It will never run out. I will never exhaust His love bank.
Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. Psalm 36:5
- Love rejoices with the truth.
- Love perseveres.
WHERE WE ARE GOING: Next TUESDAY is Christmas Eve. What better time to see through the messy love story of Hosea and Gomer how God’s love never fails!
Enjoy the weekend. Enjoy living in the reality of God’s love gifts to you.
See you on TUESDAY!