My brother-in-law is a crazy-good photographer. And, he has tried many, many times to teach me the basics. He’s gone slowly. Drawn pictures. Used hand gestures. He’s an excellent teacher, but it just doesn’t stick. Bummer.
Because I don’t get it, I remain on auto mode, letting the camera do the work for me. Maybe someday.
We can easily feel that same way about God’s truths in the Bible.
“I just don’t get it.”
“Now, say it again.”
“What does that mean?”
Especially forgiveness. I may say I believe that God forgives me, yet I don’t act like I get it when I continue to…
… try to earn His love or prove that I am good enough
…or walk around shaming myself
…or limit my potential because I don’t feel like I deserve anything good.
These behaviors still show that I really just don’t “get it.”
God has gone to great lengths to teach us forgiveness. And Hosea 14:4-8 paints a beautiful imagery of forgiveness on the canvas of God’s love.
For the visual learner in need of truly grasping God’s forgiveness, this is for YOU!
The dew saturates the ground. It covers everything, even the tiny little crevises on a single blade. Everything it touches, the dew refreshes.
God in His forgiveness saturates my heart. Who He is impacts who I become. He covers every part of my heart even the ugly crevices where grimy sin remains. He doesn’t shrink back, recoil, or shame me. God’s forgiveness refreshes me. As I embrace His forgiveness, I am capable of forgiving myself. I can feel the splash of forgiveness refreshing my soul!
The lily opens up as it blooms, unfolding it’s beauty as it blossoms.
In God’s forgiveness, I will feel safe enough to open up, unfolding my true self. Slowing, as I gain strength in God’s love and forgiveness, I will expose my authentic heart to Him in trust and will reach my full potential in beauty. I desire to be beautiful like that!
The cedar is huge and massive. Found in arid and rocky regions, it grows strong in challenging environments.
In God’s forgiveness, I WILL grow strong. I can count on that! Through hard and challenging circumstances, I will grow deeper. I am so grateful that the hard times will not be wasted but actually used to strengthen me!
The olive tree easily is quite tenacious. It grows back even when chopped to the ground. Regular pruning is important to keep it producing fruit and staying healthy.
In God’s forgiveness, I will grow again even with the slashes of my sin cut me to the core. As I remain in Him and allow my roots to grow deep in Him, beauty will grow. God brings growth and freshness through the pain. I am not the stupid choices I make!
In Hosea’s day, grain was the universal food source and used in nearly everything eaten. It was massively produced and an important part of the economy.
In God’s forgiveness, I will have a productive and useful life despite where my sin has taken me. My past does not dictate my future!
The vine needs intensive care. It requires pruning and watering and managing growth in order to produce fruit.
In God’s forgiveness, I will be taken care of and protected to produce fruit that will be useful to the work of the Lord. I am not damaged goods!
An evergreen is green all year round. It’s dependable. Always there. It is a constant source of growth.
God promises to always be there for me. He will answer me. Take care or me. Sustain me and give me life. Hallelujah!! Always and always for ever.
Can you VISUALIZE who God is, what He gives, and who we can become in Him through these pictures?
May they be etched in our thoughts. May we be reminded of them when we want to walk around in shame, when we want to punish ourselves for our stupid choices. May these pictures flash in our brains like a 3D movie redirecting us into a life of truth and freedom!
God’s love is a messy love like no other. And I am CHANGED forever!!!
I’ll see you here on THURSDAY for our LAST POST in #messylove! Woot Woot!
I pray God has grown your understanding and acceptable of His love so that you can experience life and love like never before.