Sometimes the grace of God overwhelms me all over again. What is most amazing to me is not that he keeps his covenant (which he initiated, by the way), but that he keeps his covenant with sinful and rebellious people.

Reading the story of the Israelites just makes us shake our heads. We’re at the end of a good long vacation, and we’ve had a wonderful time, but there are times when whining kids can just drive.me.crazy. There are times when I feel like I say “please don’t…” (fill in the blank) all day long. Yesterday in IHOP my Beloved told Viking “please stop trying to walk on the wall!” and cracked up in the middle of the sentence. Who could imagine needing to say that! Sometimes we get the same feeling in the saga of the Hebrews. We start wishing God would just wipe ‘em out!

I’ve been reading Sacred Parenting, by Gary Thomas. The premise is that raising children is really about our spiritual development and how God uses it to increase Christ’s character in us. It’s a book I’m going to have to read again, but it’s been moving to me this week to reflect on how I feel about my kids – how I love them so much it hurts, and how sometimes I just want to wring their little necks.

Pair that with what I’m studying in Genesis at the same time, and it makes me think about God’s covenant with us and his steadfast grace. Yes, our hearts are prone to wander, but he keeps his covenant with determination, calls us by name, and draws us to himself.  Even when we are stubborn and rebellious and just won’t learn our lesson. Even when we are scared to participate in his plan or think we have a better way. Even when we just can’t trust him with all of our stuff.

This hymn has been on my mind a lot lately, and I keep running into it in unexpected places. It’s not scripture, but it does speak to me.

O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.

Take my heart and seal it, Lord.

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