Last evening a friend and I were talking and discovered an experience we hold in common. Both of us share the common experience of being cut off by someone we thought was a friend. Not just casually ignored but told with words that we are no longer considered a friend.

Many times, relationships do not end that abruptly. The change is more subtle and often, imperceptible. Until one day, realization hits that I haven’t been in touch with someone for a long time. Then a decision has to be made. What needs to be done to “do all that {I} can to live in peace with everyone.” Romans 12:18

It seems the same is true in my relationship with Jesus. I don’t mean to drift from His presence. It just seems to happen. I notice in scripture, when confronted with this very thing, the people ask, “When did we do that?” Humans haven’t changed much.

And God hasn’t changed either!

He is always seeking me, always reaching out, always calling me back to himself. Just as he did with Israel and Judah in the Old Testament.

As I read through the book of Jeremiah, I am confronted by the mercy and grace of God, his unending desire for his people to be in relationship with him.

…This is what the Lord says: “O Israel, my faithless people, come home to me again, for I am merciful. I will not be angry with you forever. 13Only acknowledge your guilt. Admit that you rebelled against the Lord your God and committed adultery against him by worshiping idols under every green tree. Confess that you refused to listen to my voice.”

Jeremiah 3:12-13

Perhaps the reason human relationships fall apart is because no one wants to admit their guilt. I see the other party as being in the wrong, misunderstanding me or believing something that was only partially true. I don’t see that I am a part of that equation.

Perhaps that is the reason our relationship with God falls apart. I want to do what I want to do when I want to do it. I don’t acknowledge my guilt. I don’t see my actions as rebellion. I explain it away and close my ears to his voice.

This morning, as I pondered the conversation with my friend, my heart was broken. Broken for human relationships that once thrived but now are languishing. Broken for those alienated from community, relationship and mostly from loving fellowship with Jesus.

As I write today, I fear the pulse of my heart will not come through. I know what it is to sit in the pain of isolation, hurting from a human interaction or feeling far from God. I know what it is to be wronged and yet invited and even compelled to forgive the wrong, knowing full well there will be no apology. Let me tell you friends, when you do that, you are setting yourself free. Free from a prison of misery and heartache. I think what I really want to say is – Let it go. Humble yourself. Forgive radically. You are hurting yourself the most. And if it is God you are having trouble with, tell him. Open a dialogue and see what he has to say. Because he will talk if you are willing to listen!

Happy Hump Day!

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