Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity. (Joel 2:13)
My beagle, Max, ran off into the rainy, foggy night. I called and called to no avail. He was absorbed in excitement, as he freely chased the scent of rabbits around the yard. I knew that if he entered the woods next to the house, there would be no way I could follow him through the thick brambles and tall grass. I chased the puppy all over the yard, begging him to come. Instead, nose to the ground, he crossed the road and into tall grass. Watching for fast-moving farm trucks, I cautiously crossed the road. I was no longer able to hear or see the dog. I yelled again, “Max, please come,” desperation in my voice. Suddenly, Max burst through the tall grass and ran straight to me.
I scooped up my wet, muddy dog and carried him home. My frustration and anger dissolved into relief, as I held tightly to my beloved pet. The thought of what could have happened that night left me heartbroken.
It reminds me of the times I run from God, only to find that when I return to him, he meets me with open arms, “gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love.” How comforting! God longs for our return, crying out for restored relationship and desiring to relent from allowing us to experience the punishment we deserve.
Return to God, allowing him to envelop you in his loving arms.
Beth Gormong is a graduate of Indiana Wesleyan University and serves at Wesleyan Publishing House. She spends her free time at the library reading and writing books.
© 2022 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.