Devotional thoughts on Hosea 1:1-11
By Elizabeth Matko
I used every trick in the book when I was potty training my first daughter. Once, I even moved her potty chair into the living room where she was watching TV. Even though the chair was right beside her, she still chose to wet her training pants! When I asked why she didn’t use her potty, she replied, “It’s OK, Mommie. I’ll do it next time.”
“Next time” is a snare that keeps us from accomplishing things now. It tricks us into avoiding or delaying actions that are essential for our greatest good or the good of others.
If We are Faithless, He Remains Faithful
Several months ago, I examined my spiritual habits because the quality of my relationship with God was slipping. I was appalled to discover that in subtle ways, I was “guilty of unfaithfulness to the LORD” (Hosea 1:2). Certain serious, time-consuming matters in my extended family had taken precedence over everything else. I began to neglect God. I’d whisper a few quick prayers, then assure myself that “next time” I’d talk with the Lord longer. I’d be too tired to open my Bible, then promise that “next time” I’d read two chapters instead of one. I’d give in to the temptation to grumble, complain, and become irate at other family members, then say that “next time” I’d exercise more restraint with my words and emotions. I didn’t immediately identify these choices as acts of infidelity against God, but they were.
No matter what’s going on in my life, I want my choices to be characterized by unwavering devotion to God—not next time, not sometimes, but all the time. My first step has been to memorize praise psalms so that I can keep God central in my mind, heart, and spirit throughout each day and night. My faithful Lord has blessed that small step.
Are you having next time moments? What can you change or adjust? What small step can you take in your daily routine to increase your intimacy with God?
Elizabeth Matko from Kirtland, Ohio, retired from her years of work with Alzheimer’s residents. She now travels with her husband, Dan, especially enjoying time with her two daughters and their families.