Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk; I took them up by their arms, but they did not know that I healed them. I led them with cords of kindness, with the bands of love, and I became to them as one who eases the yoke on their jaws, and I bent down to them and fed them. Hosea 11:3-4
Sometimes I struggle to believe that God really loves me. I know that’s silly, but to be honest, that’s where I am sometimes. I know that God loves me, but often I become like Naomi (in the book of Ruth) and think that He doesn’t. Welcome to my world. It’s silly, it’s down right ridiculous of me to think this way because God has shown His great love in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. And I know I’m not alone. Many Christians feel like this. The following words by Walter Marshall have helped me to get perspective. Maybe they’ll help you too.
“You cannot love God if you are under the continual, secret suspicion that he is really your enemy. You cannot love God if you think that he condemns and hates you… Your love for God must be won and drawn out by your understanding of God’s love and goodness towards you… You simply cannot love God unless you know and understand how much he loves you…When you love him, it is because you see that he has been so good to you!… God does not drive you along with whips and terrors, or by the rod of the schoolmaster, the law. Rather, he leads you and draws you to walk in his ways by pleasant attractions (Hosea 11:3-4). The love of Christ…is the greatest and most pleasant attraction to encourage you to godly living (2 Cor. 5:15; Rom. 12:1).” Excerpts from The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification: Growing in Holiness by Living in Union with Christ
God is leading us with cords of kindness and bands of love. He is drawing us to walk in His ways by pleasant attractions. If you’re feeling like Naomi, look to Jesus. He is not behind you, tightly holding a whip and threatening terror. He is before you. He is drawing you to Himself. He is the Pleasant Attraction.
Let Him suck you in today.