Tenderly

“Tenderly.

“‘I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her there’ (Hos 2.14 NLT).  These are God’s words about His wayward people, spoken to the prophet Hosea, who had a wayward wife named Gomer.  God’s plan required a desert–an arid, dusty, inhospitable climate.  Today, our desert equivalent could be our corners of hiddenness.  Our anonymous cubicles.  Our support roles.  Our 3:00 a.m. baby feedings.  Our fifteenth sojourn in the doctor’s waiting room with an ill child, condition still undiagnosed.  Our 136th day in the carpool line.  Our crowded church sanctuaries.  Our Friday nights alone.  Our monotonous shifts in the grocery store that barely pay the bills.

“It is there, in whatever this desert is, that He promises to speak tenderly.”

(Sara Hagerty, Unseen, the Gift of Being Hidden in a World that Loves to be Noticed)

Small begets big.

Love this:

“We’ve fallen into the conventional thinking that a big mission demands big tactics, but we forget that in the economy of God’s kingdom, big does not beget big.  It’s precisely the opposite.  The overwhelming message of Jesus’ life and teaching is that small begets big.  Consider, God’s plan to redeem creation (big) is achieved through his incarnation as an impoverished baby (small).  Jesus feeds thousands on a hillside (big) with just a few fish and loaves (small).  Christ seeks to make disciples of all nations (big) and he starts with a handful of fishermen (small).  Even Goliath (big) is defeated by David with a few stones (small).

“This pattern is also repeated in Jesus’ parables about the nature of his kingdom.  He said, ‘The kingdom of heaven is like  grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field.  It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown, it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.

“All of this confirms the counter-intuitive nature of God’s kingdom.”  (Skye Jethani)