Thus says the Lord, "I remember the devotion of your youth, your love as a bride, how you followed me in the wilderness, in a land not sown." - Jeremiah 2:2
Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful. - Hebrews 10:23
Two-year reading texts: Psalm 119:89-96; 2 Samuel 18:1-30; John 10:1-10
Today's scriptures show images of difficulty and danger: time in the wilderness, thieves and robbers, natural threats, hunger and thirst, lack of direction, self-centered sinfulness and shortsightedness. We walk in this world through a rough landscape!
In the middle of all that, the scriptures give hope for a way through, to abundant life. I've come to like the word resolve a lot, to describe the spirit of this hope. Resolve is the opposite of "wavering," Hebrews 10's word for avoiding commitment and trying to split the difference between trust in God and attachment to other things.
As I've reflected on it in the past, it seems to me that resolve has three layers of meaning:
- An action we can do: to settle, determine, make up our mind
- A guide we can have: a decision that becomes a life direction
- A deep quality of character: firmness of purpose, determination
I see resolve as a gift. It comes in the voice of God, with love and care that teach us this voice is to be recognized and trusted. It comes with God's promise of adoption as children forever. It comes through solid people God puts in our lives who give us counsel and support. It's developed over time as God teaches us to listen and follow.
It's clear that in this life we can expect struggles, fears, distractions, and stress. Christian faith does not exempt us from any of these! But God is with us to create resolve that guides us and shapes us to be strong and faithful. Resolve becomes part of who we are, and enables us to stop wavering, but make up our minds to commit to God's way.
Thank you, God, for working resolve in me. Renew this gift each day! Shape my life according to your faithfulness, guide me through all the things that would push or pull me away from you, and let your strength be my strength as I seek to listen and follow and serve you.