Jeremiah 31:2-4 (the message)
This is the way God put it:
“They found grace out in the desert,
these people who survived the killing.
Israel, out looking for a place to rest,
met God out looking for them!”
God told them, “I’ve never quit loving you and never will.
Expect love, love, and more love!
And so now I’ll start over with you and build you up again,
dear virgin Israel.
You’ll resume your singing,
grabbing tambourines and joining the dance.
Last night Leah showed me a pink index card on which she had written, I love God. God is ossum. We were headed to church and she wanted to know how they could send it to God. (Not making this up!) Aware of my middle daughter’s sensitive heart, I stooped down to explain that we could not actually have her card delivered to God in Heaven, but He definitely sees her card. I told Leah how God was watching her write those words and how happy I know it makes Him. I hugged her and told her how much God loves her back! And how He thinks she is “ossum” too!
As I pulled away from my little daughter, I saw tears beginning to pool in her eyes. What in the world, I thought. As I looked into those big brown eyes I said it again, God loves you so much, Leah! And wouldn’t you know tears rolled down her little face. The sweetness of His love touching a place inside her heart. Lighting up her insides.
Spilling over in tears that can’t be explained, only shed as the God-space in our soul fills with craved assurance. He loves me. He sees me.
I recognized her “happy cry” because I spill those kind of tears sometimes, too. Unexpected. Catching me off-guard. Jesus whispering through a person, a verse, a song or a message to my core.
He see me. He loves me.
In the scripture above, Jeremiah the prophet is giving a message to God’s people who have been captured and are living in exile. How in the world did I find myself here this morning? I flipped over to ever-popular Jeremiah 29:11 where God promises He knows the plans He has for us…that if we seek Him with all our hearts we will not be disappointed. And I just kept reading until this:
I’ve never quit loving you and never will.
In my heart I believe somebody needs to hear Him today. Your God-space needs a fresh filling. You feel like you are living in the desert…in exile. Perhaps you’ve been wondering if God still cares, if He really does see and love you.
Maybe desert-sands have blown into your life unexpectedly. Or perhaps your exile has come with step after step of wandering away.
My heart is to write a few words today that light up your insides…touch your core…speak ever-so-directly into your God-space.
He sees you. He loves you. He has not forgotten you nor is He finished with you.
Regardless of how or why you arrived in this place.
Do you perceive it? With your heart, I mean?
Creator is telling His people…the ones “surviving the killing”…that grace is to be found in the desert.
Can you see them? Lost and lonely, possibly dejected, looking for a place to rest. Tired…diminished…belittled…empty. Out looking, hoping, for rest only to discover Father out looking for them.
Can you hear Him? I’ve never quit loving you and never will…now I will start over with you…build you up again.
He’s never finished, friend. He’s never lost sight of you. Never stopped loving you.
He’s looking for you. Right now.
Has Father found you…even now is your heart drawn toward the hope of beginning again…of rebuilding…of rest and safety and unconditional love? Do you, in your most secret place, wish you could believe Father is pleased with you? Really does think you are awesome?
My friend, you crave it because you are meant to have it.
This assurance. This safety. This building up and resuming.
Really, it’s a matter of how long. How much longer do we suffer dehydration in the desert? How much longer do we stumble for direction in this exile of unbelief and hopelessness?
How long, my dear friend? How much longer?
Father sees you. Just like the little index card…Father sees what is written on your heart. He cares. He’s interested.
Close your swimming eyes and sink into His ever-lasting love. You are safe here…and it is safe to let the tears spill over…to let hurt, regret, shame and disappointment break open so that Father can fill the space in your soul meant only for Him.
This is not random. These Words are not coincidental additions to your day.
He’s calling out to you now…looking for you.
Longing to fill your emptiness with light.