I Love You Buddy – by Katie Dawson

This devotional is from the back of our weekly church bulletin.

In his NOOMA video series, Rob Bell helps people to think about faith in new ways. In the episode “Rain,” he goes on a hike around a lake with his little boy in a carrier on his back. They are enjoying the sun and the beautiful weather, when clouds start to build. A single drop of rain falls, then another, and before long, they are caught in a downpour.

At firs, the little guy is all right, but soon there is thunder, lightning, and intense wind, and he gets scared. So Rob takes him out to the backpack, holds him close, and for the rest of the journey around the lake, whispers in his ear, “I love you buddy..we’re going to make it..Dad knows the way home.”

God speaks through the prophet Hosea and offers us those same words of love, compassion, and comfort. We are precious children in God’s eyes. When we don’t know how to walk, God lifts us up. When we are broken, God heals us. When, like infants, we cry out for life, God bends down to us, holding us close and providing for abundant life.

In the United Methodist tradition, we talk about prevenient grace as the grace that goes before us. It is God’s love poured out into our lives before we even know who God is. Whether or not we are ready to accept it, whether we even understand, God’s gentle Spirit is guiding us along the way, leading us with cords of love.

Too often, we forget that sustaining love and attempt to make our own way. If we put ourselves in the place of that little child whose father carried him through the storm, we see nothing around us but the wind and rain and forget we are in the arms of a loving parent. No matter how far away our thoughts turn from the Lord, Hosea reminds us God refuses to give up on us and is carrying us home.

I am held safe in the arms of God.

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