Garland Of Grace – 02.12.16

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Wounded and Bandaged By the Same Hand

“Let us return to the Lord; for He has torn us, but He will heal us; He wounded us, but He will bandage us. – Hosea 6:1

Have you and your family ever stayed at a hotel and been the only people in the entire building at night? I doubt you have, but this has actually happened to me and my family back in January 2008. We had traveled to the mountains of East Tennessee for a weekend winter getaway. I had made reservations in advance at a resort owned and operated by the Tennessee Baptist Convention. They used it primarily for church groups and church staff retreats. But they also offered discounts for Tennessee pastors and their families who desired times of personal rest and retreat. I knew January would be a fairly quiet month at the resort, but we had no idea how true that would really be. As we pulled into the parking lot to check in, we were only one of two cars. The other car belonged to the clerk. As we were checking in, the clerk made a comment about how we were the only people registered to stay at the hotel for the entire weekend.  Then, to our everlasting surprise, she said that would she would be locking us in, and going home for the night.  She gave me an emergency contact number if there were any problems. It hit me in that moment that my family and I would be spending the night alone inside a three story, 45,000 square foot hotel. I felt as if I had just walked onto the movie set of Steven King’s “The Shining.” It was not a very comfortable feeling. After the creepiness subsided, we went up to our third floor room and settled in for the night.

It actually turned out to be a very relaxing weekend for us, even with the bizarre lodging situation. The clerk would come back in the day, and lock us in each night. We had the hotel lobby, the vending machines, the elevator and all the other hotel amenities to ourselves. On the second morning of our stay, I got up at the crack of dawn, and I spread out in a lobby area and opened up God’s Word to Hosea and read the verse above. Below are some of my thoughts from my reading that cold January morning.

The prophet Hosea brought the Word of the Lord to the people of that day. In chapter five, the people’s apostasy had been rebuked by God. In chapter six, a response was given to God’s rebuke. The very first thing they were to do was to repent and turn back to God. When they did, they would receive healing and restoration. But what is interesting is the description of this healing. Hosea says that God had wounded the people, and if they repented, He would also be the one to heal them. This is intriguing, considering the fact that wounding and healing usually do not come from the same source. For instance, if a jagged piece of metal cuts you, it won’t be used as the tool to heal you. But God is different (Isaiah 55:8). He wounds us, and then He heals us. God’s people during Hosea’s day were chastened by the hand of God. He tore them and inflicted wounds upon them to get their attention.  But after they had repented and had humbly come to Him, God would bandage the wounds that He had inflicted upon His people.

When God punishes His children, He does so out of love. He takes the wounds of His wayward children, wounds that He has inflicted upon us for our good to draw us closer to Him, and He heals us. But this can only happen if we humbly come to Him out of a heart of repentance. If you are a Christian, and you stray from the Lord, He will do whatever it takes to draw you back to Him, even if it hurts. But if you show a repentant heart, He will turn around and bandage your wounds, and do so out of love.

 – MEM

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