They Will Return
“At that time,” declares the LORD, “I will be the God of all the families of Israel, and they will be my people.” This is what the LORD says: “The people who survive the sword will find favour in the wilderness; I will come to give rest to Israel.” The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.
See, I will bring them from the land of the north and gather them from the ends of the earth. Among them will be the blind and the lame, expectant mothers and women in labour; a great throng will return. They will come with weeping; they will pray as I bring them back. I will lead them beside streams of water on a level path where they will not stumble, because I am Israel’s father, and Ephraim is my firstborn son. (Jeremiah 31:1-3,8-9 NIV)
This is a reminder of one of the most important promises in the Bible. We are loved with an everlasting love; that's a love that is constant and unchanging from all of eternity past, right through our present and into all of eternity in the future. All of that love is being poured into our heart by and through the Holy Spirit. I don't know that we can fully understand what that looks like. We try and define it through our human understanding and that is able to give us a glimpse of the magnitude of the Father's love for us. It's only as we stand under the waterfall of God's love that our understanding and experience will grow.
Not only does Jeremiah prophesy that we are loved with an everlasting love but he also points our hearts towards home. There is a place of safety, security and provision which we find once his love starts to draw our hearts home. He longs to gather us, those who have walked with him for many years, and to bring our hearts home. He longs to gather those who don't yet know him, he is calling them from the ends of the earth as he wants them to come home as well.
Coming home into his love is what gives us rest. Rest is the thing we crave, it's what has been stolen by the enemy in order to turn us into a people who rely on their own effort of constantly trying hard. As our heart finds this rest it is filled with joy, not the joy of our temporal and changing circumstances but the joy of the Lord becomes our strength.
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