The Lord’s love for Israel is very evident in Hosea 11:1-11, even after they turned away from Him and offered sacrifices to Baal (verse 2). He had every reason to destroy the nation of Israel, yet we read in Hosea 11:8b: “My heart is changed within me; all My compassion is aroused.” All through the Old Testament we read how Israel time and time again rebelled against God, and how He forgave them when they turned back to Him in repentance. The Lord was indeed a soft landing for a rebellious nation.
Don’t we all need a soft landing every once in a while? There are times when life overwhelms us and times when we too become rebellious and angry. With questions bursting inside of us, we often have emotions that overflow. The last thing we need in moments like those are people who treat us harshly and who become judgemental.
Friends, family and even strangers who treat us with kindness and compassion are what often sets off our journey of healing. Jesus understands us and knows about all our hurts and insecurities. He knows where and when we went away from Him (verse 2). He lifts us to His cheek and leads us back with cords of human kindness; back to the place where He settles us (verse 11).
This beautiful image of God’s love for His people made me wonder whether we are showing Him to a hurting world. Are we being a soft landing for others and are we leading them back to the Lord with kindness?
Or are we so often offended by people that we end up focusing more on ourselves and our own needs than the needs of those who are hurting or struggling? I’m sure that, if we take a moment to think about the people the Lord placed in our lives, we will be able to identify many needs.
Just thinking about my own circle of family and friends, I see elderly parents trying to cope with challenges as they age, a friend having to move on after the loss of a dear one, another friend facing chemotherapy, and still another facing financial stress. The list goes on and on.
The question I am asking myself is whether I am a safe landing for them; a safe place where they can just be themselves without having to pretend that all is well. Or am I too self-absorbed to really make time for them, too easily frustrated and impatient to ask the Lord to help me understand their challenges and fears?
May the Lord show us how to care for others and how to draw them nearer to Him with kindness and compassion. May we put aside our judgements and see others as Jesus sees them, especially when they are hurting and struggling. May we be a soft landing in a hurting world.
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