"When Israel was a child, I loved him as a son, and I called my son out of Egypt. But the more I called to him, the more he rebelled, offering sacrifices to the images of Baal and burning incense to idols. It was I who taught Israel how to walk, leading him along by the hand. But he doesn't know or even care that it was I who took care of him. I led Israel along with my ropes of kindness and love. I lifted the yoke from his neck, and I myself stooped to feed him. For my people are determined to desert me. They call me the Most High, but they don't truly honor me. Hosea 11:1-4, 7 (NLT)
I learn the most about my relationship with God through being a parent. I have spent recent years, sadly pining for my two teenage daughters to throw me some crumbs of time and relationship. They are so wrapped up in their teenage lives, sometimes they forget I share the same planet. Often, I feel so unappreciated for all I do for them. It's as if they expect me to be there when they need me for something, but they don't want a meaningful relationship with me. They forget to thank me. They don't include me in their every day lives.
Brutally convicting, isn't it? How many days, weeks, months, even years of life on this planet have we treated our Heavenly Father the same way? How often do we ignore Him until we're in trouble or need Him to do something for us? Do we run to Him first thing to celebrate good news or tell Him what is new in our lives? Do we stop to appreciate the thousands of details in our every day lives that He has given us as gifts? Do we really thank Him regularly?
Like a good parent, our Father is always sitting nearby, waiting with a longing heart to be included and invited into our daily lives. He won't manipulate us, or force us to notice Him, but He does hurt when we don't, because we are precious to Him. He brought you and I into this world, and He has guided us and provided for us our whole lives. But many of us have been determined to focus on our own lives like self-absorbed teenagers, deserting Him until we're in trouble.
This week, come back to Daddy. Let Him know how much you appreciate Him and tell Him you'd like be a part of His daily life once again.