Time for a Time Out

“Yet the time will come when Israel will prosper and become a great nation. In that day its people will be like the sands of the seashore too many to count! Then, at the place where they were told, ‘You are not my people,' it will be said, 'You are children of the living God'”(NLT).— Hosea 1:10 Have you ever been wounded so deeply that you feel like you’ll never recover—and indeed, you’d like to avoid being in that difficult place ever again?

The very place in which we are wounded, the site of the deepest pain, can also be where the most precious and life changing lessons are learned; where God gets our attention and draws us into intimate fellowship.

Hosea’s words remind me of a time out—the kind we dole out to kids when they misbehave and need to be temporarily separated from everyone else.

Even if the child cries, “You don’t love me!” the parent knows that love is not the issue. Obedience is. A disobedient child can be in danger and needs to be removed from the situation for a while.

That’s what God did with the children of Israel. He removed them saying, “You are not My people.”

You cannot be My people and behave this way. You cannot continue to run from Me, hurt one another, and allow evil into your lives, and be My people.

In the very next breath, in the same place where He rebuked them, He also assured them, “You are the children of the living God.”

You will always be My children, whom I love, and in whom I will build a future nation.

We might be separated for a time from Him and His people.

But He never stops loving us and giving us a chance to start anew.

“Come now, let us argue this out,” says the LORD. “No matter how deep the stain of your sins, I can remove it. I can make you as clean as freshly fallen snow. Even if you are stained as red as crimson, I can make you as white as wool.” — Isaiah 1:18 (NLT)