I don't like to be called childish. I've attained a certain number of years. I spent much of my past feeling very immature compared to my peers. Whether I was or not was perception I suppose. But events through the last few years have changed me and finally I don't feel like a child. I get up and I creak. I move slowly. I take medications to keep me functioning properly. I have learned to think before I speak more often than not. (A miracle some might say.) I hardly ever watch television. I put others' needs before mine--albeit grudgingly sometimes. I do what needs to be done. Perhaps not always cheerfully. But I do it. I go to church. I say my prayers. I'm not perfect, but pretty good. Right?
But GOD tells me I am childish and worse yet, backsliding.
And, of course, He is right.
Go and proclaim these devarim toward the north, and say, Return, thou meshuvah Yisroel, saith Hashem; and I will not cast down Mine anger to fall upon you; for I am chasid (displaying chesed, mercy), saith Hashem, and I will not keep anger l’olam. Only acknowledge thine avon (iniquity, guilt of wrongdoing), that thou hast rebelled against Hashem your G-d, and hast scattered thy favors to the zarim under every green tree, and ye have not obeyed My voice, saith Hashem. Shuvu (Turn), O banim shovaviv (backsliding children), saith Hashem; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one from a town, and two from a mishpakhah, and I will bring you to Tziyon Yirmeyah 3: 12-14 OJB
From today's noon reading in Jeremiah we hear GOD speak to His people, His children who have turned away. I looked through a few translations some say "fatherless children," one says "revolting children," a couple say "backsliding," one says "disloyal." some calls the children "faithless." All but one that I looked at called them/us--me--children.
If I am "fatherless" it is not the Father that has changed. It is me...I backslide--I have good plans and then I get distracted by my poorer, previous choices. I revolt. I change my ways. See the new way is better. I feel better. Life is better. But then I listen to sin and say..."Just once more won't hurt." I am disloyal. I pick the world over the Father. I am "faithless." For if I were "faithFUL" I would believe what I know to be true and behave accordingly. Oh, yes...I am childish.
Not even three days into Lent and I am wrestling with habits and temptation. But not to despair. I can pick up my cross again and again. I can turn back and try once more to be mature, loyal, faithful and loved by my merciful Father, through the blood of His most holy Son.
So go and shout words towards the north, and say: "Come back, disloyal Israel, Yahweh/the LORD declares, I shall frown on you no more, since I am merciful,Yahweh/the LORD declares. I shall not keep my anger for ever. Only acknowledge your guilt: how you have rebelled against Yahweh/the LORD your God, how you have prostituted yourself with the Strangers under every green tree and have not listened to my voice,Yahweh/the LORD declares. "Come back, disloyal children,Yahweh/the LORD declares, for I alone am your Master, and I will take you, one from a town, two from a family, and bring you to Zion Jeremiah 3:12-14 NJB
Again, today I choose Christ.
Counting it all joy,