Step #1: Lectio / Read
Hosea 11:1-4, 8e-9
Thus says the LORD:
When Israel was a child I loved him,
out of Egypt I called my son.
The more I called them,
the farther they went from me,
Sacrificing to the Baals
and burning incense to idols.
Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk,
who took them in my arms;
I drew them with human cords,
with bands of love;
I fostered them like one
who raises an infant to his cheeks;
Yet, though I stooped to feed my child,
they did not know that I was their healer.
My heart is overwhelmed,
my pity is stirred.
I will not give vent to my blazing anger,
I will not destroy Ephraim again;
For I am God and not man,
the Holy One present among you;
I will not let the flames consume you.
Step #2: Meditatio / Meditate
Earlier this year, my friend and I went for a Sunday morning run after a particularly rough week. The weather was gorgeous, and it was just like any other run until we saw something on the sidewalk ahead, past some trees. We ended up running ahead to find ourselves standing directly in front of three massive horses and their riders in the middle of the sidewalk, on an otherwise-quiet Sunday morning. We even got to pet the horses, and it was a great (and incredibly unexpected) end to a great run.
It wasn’t until I was thinking about it later that it hit me; all those little moments, that seemed to fit together so perfectly? That was all God. He was there with my friend and I, making sure I had the stress-relief and laughter I needed to relax after a rough week. He was working in the weather, giving us a perfect day without a single thing to complain about. He definitely showed Himself in running into horses, using His timing to give us something to laugh about and to remind us again, in subtle ways, of His love.
All of it happened because God loved me, and I could have easily missed that entire message.
Even after a rough week, even after failing to see God throughout that week, He still gave me that fantastic morning; something that meant so much more once I recognized God in it. Not only does God show His love for all of us in every moment of our lives, but He also showed how much He’s willing to remind us of His constant love when we don’t see it, when we aren’t even looking for it.
We’re bound to make mistakes, to completely miss God in some moments, and even to fall into sin. But our humanity doesn’t affect God’s divinity; God is still God -- and, a very personal God -- no matter the circumstance, no matter our sin. Whether we see Him or not, God is there leading us throughout all of it. Sometimes trusting His plan and His love may feel more like taking a random leap in the dark. Other times, our Lord makes it glaringly obvious, like a horse in the middle of a sidewalk on a Sunday morning. Even when we don’t see it, when we aren’t even looking for it, God constantly reminds us that He’s always working through us, with us, and in us:
The God of the universe, the One with everything in the palm of His hand, is willing to be a part of your every waking moment because He can’t stand the thought of you living another second without knowing His love. All you have to do is listen.
Step #3: Oratio / Pray
What are some ways God is working through my day already to show His love for me?
What's one of my favorite ways/situations that God used to show me His love?
What little things can I do for others to show them God's love?
Step #4: Contemplatio / Contemplate
"For I am God and not man."
"I will not let the flames consume you."
"I am always with you, wherever you may go."
For the Rest of Your Day...
Reflect on what our Lord might be showing you in the normally unnoticed parts of your day, and take time to talk about it with Him.
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Today's prayer was prepared by Tatiana Schaffer.