Thursday, May 22, 2008

Try a Little Tenderness

"If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink." (John 7:37b)

Feeling a bit parched? Searching to quench that thirst with an iced tea or Diet Coke? Dive into the Word for real refreshment!I try to be diligent in my Bible reading and am often rewarded by God's speaking to my heart through particular scriptures. I pause and sometimes even write them down. The reflection usually ends there, however. This year, I would like to pursue the verses that God lays on my heart by pondering how He wants me to apply these verses in my life. Here is what spoke to me this week:
"'Because your heart was tender and you humbled yourself before God when you heard His words against this place and against its inhabitants, and because you humbled yourself before Me, tore your clothes and wept before Me, I truly have heard you,' declares the LORD" (2 Chronicles 34:27).
These words were spoken to King Josiah after he discovered the lost Book of the Law and showed his remorse regarding how far his people and ancestors had strayed from following God's commandments (2 Chronicles 34).
The thing that really stood out for me in this verse was the word tender. How often do we use that word in our culture today--other than to describe a succulent cut of filet mignon? Doesn't our society prefer toughness over tenderness? Aren't little boys trained not to cry and to be tough little men? Why do we look at tenderness as a sign of weakness? Does God?
Apparently, He doesn't. Tenderness, at least in Josiah's case, was the prerequisite for learning from mistakes, making amends, and escaping God's wrath. Had he followed the example of his predecessors, he could have hardened his heart and pretended that God's Words didn't apply to him. Josiah, though, chose tenderness and humility and was rewarded with God's rapt attention and a revival among his people.
Another example of tenderness in a tough society is, obviously, Jesus. Just read the words of the Sermon on the Mount (Luke 6:20-38) and you can see the disparity Jesus' commands and the expected response in our society. How many of us can say that we are truly able to pray for our enemies? It is so hard to tear down the walls that we construct to protect ourselves from the hurt of this world. With the Holy Spirit's help, however, we can ask the Lord to help us "put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience . . ." (Colossians 3:12).
So, what verses have spoken to you this week? Post those verses on your own blog, along with how you see that God wants you to apply them in your life. Then, provide your link below so that we can drink from one another's wells of scripture.


JamieLee said...

Great post! It is hard to tear down those walls, and I've fought with that myself. Thanks for sharing!

I've been pondering lots of verses on my "pondering" blog:

Anonymous said...

Great post, Celeste!
I've been in the book of Ezekiel lately but the Lord has not given anything for me to share just yet so no post today. Such a powerful book! I look forward to chiming in when I can. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi! Just found your blog and looking forward to participating in Thirstin For the Word Thursdays.