“I will hedge up your way with thorns, and wall her in, so that she cannot find her paths. She will chase her lovers — but not overtake them; yes, she will seek them — but not find them. Then she will say, ‘I will go and return to my first husband, for then it was better for me than now.'” Hosea 2:6
As it is only with You, O my Savior, that I can be happy, I would never leave You anymore. If I should depart from You, under whatever plausible pretenses, let my way be hedged up and let thorns grow all around me. Let me quickly discover and crucify everything which would intercept the manifestations of Your love or diminish mine. Never would I take one step out of the way which You frequent, lest I bring on myself guilt and trouble. As for the cross which You impose, I will cheerfully bear it and even bless You for the burden.
Glory be to You, that You have not given me up, and suffered me to run into destruction in my own ways. Be pleased to restrain me still. And whenever I am in danger of wandering into the broad way, let me find no rest until I am brought back, though it may be through the briers of affliction. Keep me at the feet of Jesus, whatever is necessary to do so.
I know Your judgments, Lord, are right.
Though they may seem severe;
The sharpest sufferings I endure
Flow from Your faithful care.
Before I knew Your chastening rod,
My feet were apt to stray;
But now I learn to keep Your word,
Nor wander from Your way.
Devotion by Karl Heinrich von Bogatzky (1690—1774)
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