Daily Devotions

A Heart that Stays Tender

"Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." 

In this sinful world, we have become accustomed to being disappointed, sinned against, tricked, and hurt. To mitigate the wounds others inflict, we protect ourselves. We hold, at a distance, those who have hurt us. And cynicism provides for us a shelter from the pain and confusion we feel. 

Mankind (often) works this way. We let hearts grow calloused to keep from being pierced anymore. 

But God doesn't work that way. In Hosea 11, God is speaking to his child, who over and again grieved his tender heart. God's response? 

       How can I give you up, Ephraim? 
           How can I hand you over, Israel? 
           How can I treat you like Admah? 
           How can I make you like Zeboyim? 
           My heart is changed within me; 
           all my compassion is aroused. 
       I will not carry out my fierce anger, 
           nor will I devastate Ephraim again. 
           For I am God, and not a man—
           the Holy One among you. 
- Hosea 11:8,9 

Today, as we look back at another year, we see another year of mistakes and sin. But your Father's heart stays tender. It would stay tender, even when man would literally pierce it on the cross. 

The God who took us by the arms (Hosea 11:3) is still, this coming year, the one who lifts you, like a child, to his cheek (Hosea 11:4). 

Heavenly Father, another year lays behind us, containing both victories and losses, sanctification and sin. Show us your heart, so full of compassion, that we might enter this new year with hope and joy. Amen.