God's Greater Plan
Dena Johnson MartinDena Johnson is a former single mom to three amazing kids: Blake, Cole, and Cassie and wife to her high school friend, Roy. She strives to follow Christ each day and to lead her children to do the same. She delights in taking the every day experiences of life and turning them into biblical lessons for her children. Dena's daily prayer is simple: Lord, my life is yours. Live through me. Love through me. Parent through me. Let me decrease that you might increase. Dena is the founder of Dena Johnson Ministries, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping people find beauty through the brokenness of this life. Her heart's desire is to use her own pain to point others to the power of God who redeems every hurt, every pain. You can contact Dena at Dena@denajohnson.com. You can also find her blog at Dena Johnson Ministries.
- 2016 Mar 24
“Come, let us return to the Lord.
He has torn us to pieces;
now he will heal us.
He has injured us;
now he will bandage our wounds.
In just a short time he will restore us,
so that we may live in his presence.
Oh, that we might know the Lord!
Let us press on to know him.
He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn
or the coming of rains in early spring.”
“O Israel and Judah,
what should I do with you?” asks the Lord.
“For your love vanishes like the morning mist
and disappears like dew in the sunlight.
I sent my prophets to cut you to pieces—
to slaughter you with my words,
with judgments as inescapable as light.
I want you to show love,
not offer sacrifices.
I want you to know me
more than I want burnt offerings.
But like Adam, you broke my covenant
and betrayed my trust. Hosea 6:1-7
Does it ever seem like each week is busier than the one before? That’s certainly how I feel right now. Last week, it was kids and pigs. This week, I’ve been putting in 12+ hour days to keep up with work. I am literally exhausted.
So exhausted it seems I haven’t even given a thought to Holy Week. Here we are, on the eve of Good Friday, and my mind is anywhere except the sacrifice my Savior made for me.
Today, as I was driving to an appointment, I turned on my Bible app to listen to some scripture.
He has torn us to pieces; now he will heal us…
Have you been torn up? Had your life ripped to shreds? Have you experienced devastating loss?
Perhaps God’s greater plan is to allow us to experience pain and loss so He Can lovingly put us back together.
He has injured us; now he will bandage our wounds…
Injuries happen in this life. Broken bones that need to be splinted, set. Joints that need to be surgically replaced.
Our Great Physician is always here, bandaging our wounds, repairing our injuries. He is the One who can take our injuries and make us brand new.
In just a short time he will restore us, so that we may live in his presence…
Sometimes it seems He is slow in restoration. And yet, in hindsight, we can always see where He faithfully reached down, did His work in His perfect timing. In the process of waiting, we learn to live in His presence, experience His perfect peace.
Oh, that we might know the Lord! Let us press on to know him…
Our sole purpose in this life is to know the Lord, deeply and intimately. This one thing we must do, press forward to grab hold of the life He has planned for us, of our Savior who came as the perfect sacrifice.
He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn or the coming of rains in early spring…
Does He seem silent? Does He seem distant? Does He seem as if He doesn’t hear or care? Keep pressing in to Him. Keep seeking. Keep asking. The answer is coming, as surely as the seasons change.
I want you to show love, not offer sacrifices…
What is our response to the indescribable love of our Savior? To the overwhelming sacrifice of His son given for us so many years ago?
Love. Just as He demonstrated His love for us on the tree 2000 years ago. Just as He shed His blood for us to cover our sins out of His great love for us. Just as He suffered bruising and humiliation because He chose to be the payment for our sins.
We, too, must love. Love God. Love others. Love extravagantly. Love without reason. Love unconditionally.
I want you to know me more than I want burnt offerings…
And what does God want more than anything? He wants us to know Him. He wants us to experience His healing power. He wants us to trust Him with our wounds. He wants us to experience His restoration power. He wants us to know Him, to trust Him to show up as faithfully as the seasons change.
He wants us to love…just as He loved us.
As we enter this Resurrection weekend, I pray that you will be able to press in to the One…the One who loves perfectly, the One who was the perfect sacrifice for your sin.
Lord Jesus, we are overwhelmed by your goodness and your grace. We are overwhelmed by your willingness to go to a cross and suffer and die for us. We are overwhelmed by your ability to restore us, to heal us, to bandage our wounds. We are simply overwhelmed by you. Thank you, Lord Jesus, for using every wound to draw us into relationship with you. Thank you for allowing us to experience you in all your fullness and grace. In Jesus’ Holy name we pray, amen.