She sits on the sofa biting down on the flesh of her left index finger. It’s an old habit and the sure indicator of mounting frustration. The pattern started near the end of college and extends through five jobs, a mediocre marriage and raising four children. Allisson hardly feels His presence anymore. She’s surrounded by friends and truth be told, spends hours each week instant messaging them or talking on the phone. She carts her kids to sports events. She’s seen every elementary play and never missed a parent-teacher meeting. Pastor Mike calls her first if the nursery helper calls in sick. She is the model of dependability. So why does Allisson feel dry like some sponge left in the sun? Why does she cry when her husband asks her what’s wrong?
Allisson doesn’t know that last year her life was protected from a drunken driver by a guardian angel. She doesn’t understand that God put it on the hearts of a Christian board to give her a scholarship sparing her enormous college debt. She missed God’s comforting hand while her baby nearly died of pneumonia. Nor did she comprehend God’s leading in matching her with a man who needs her strengths as she needs his. She doesn’t realize God’s presence in her life because she’s too focused on pleasing what’s in the mirror.
Hosea 11:3,4--It was I who taught Ephraim to walk, taking them in My arms, but they never knew that I healed them. I led them with human cords, with ropes of love. To them I was like one who eases the yoke from their jaws; I bent down to give them food.
God taught Ephraim to walk but Ephraim ran away. He healed them of disease but they sacrificed to the Baals and burned incense to images. He led Ephraim with cords of kindness. They saw only ropes of restraint and broke loose to chase pleasure. God bent down and fed them when they starved but they longed for Egyptian food. We judge Ephraim for stupidity in failing to recognize and follow God but are we so different today?
Intimacy is never the fruit of neglect. Proper recognition requires appreciation. To be unrecognized one must be either unworthy or taken for granted. God is unrecognized because the Bible is unconsumed. Meaningful worship dissolves beneath repetitious jingles that salute marketing at the expense of meditation. If God is unrealized it’s because Allisson embraced religion and misplaced relationship. She used to talk to Him regularly and listen for His guidance, but then other things grabbed her attention. She rarely has time now to pray. If her mother so infrequently communicated with her she’d call her dysfunctional and think she was mad at her! It’s a terrible thing when Amazing Love goes unrecognized.
©2003 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)