“When all these blessings and curses I have set before you come upon you and you take them to heart…Even if you have been banished to the most distant land…from there the LORD your God will gather you and bring you back. The LORD your God will circumcise your hearts…so that you may love him with all your heart and with all your soul, and live…Now choose life…For the LORD is your life” Deut. 30:1-20.
This is one of the most beautiful parts of Scripture with paramount implications and bottomless rewards. Several things we glean from this beautiful speech between Moses and God’s chosen are:
- We will all experience times of peace and times of suffering (blessings & curses)
- God holds all time and circumstances in His hands (I have set before you)
- There is no suffering too great for God to heal (banished to the most distant land)
- God is our LORD and will pick us up and restore us (gather & bring back)
- God will cut back the weak and unproductive areas of our hearts through suffering (circumcision of our heart)
- God’s work in our hearts will increase the ability to love and devote ourselves to Him (so that you may love him)
- Through the emergence of this reciprocal love, we gain life even in horrible seasons (and live)
- Even with His fierce display of love, we still have the choice to respond (Now, choose)
- Whenever we choose to respond to suffering with complete trust and confidence in the Father, we will experience peace and joy in the face of uncertainty…life in the threat of death.
Scripture encourages the suffering heart that our pain is not in vain. God steadies pain as the life-giving scalpel that removes the areas of our heart that hinder instead of love. He mends our heart back together with the sutures of love, grace and faithfulness. Through the process we move from despair to determination, and learn of His fierce love shared by Father and child. We must surrender to His processes to receive the full benefits of life.