1When Israel was a child, I loved him,
and out of Egypt I called my son.
2The more they were called,
the more they went away;
they kept sacrificing to the Baals
and burning offerings to idols.
3Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk;
I took them up by their arms,
but they did not know that I healed them.
4I 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 11:1-4
Hosea is probably one of my favorite books. It tells the story of God’s never ending mercy and love. I have a tendency to feel sorry for Hosea, who was told to live out this “graphic depiction” of God’s relationship with His people. But the image and story really make me stop and realize the true depth of God’s love for me. No matter how often I fail and fall, no matter how many times I have to return to God in shame; He is always there ready to receive me back to Himself. Ready to teach me with kindness and love how to walk in the paths that stay by His side.