Even though I’ve been through a lot of personal upheaval in the last few months and years, I have consistently found comfort and refuge in our compassionate, unchanging, faithful, dependable God. When I was a teenager I asked if there was anyone to trust, anyone whose words and actions were consistent and good. This deep longing for someone who wouldn’t let me down led me to my Father, my Friend, my Saviour, my God. I’ve at times wished God had done things in my life more to my liking, but I knew that He could be trusted even when He let things hurt. As I’ve been reading through Genesis and Exodus lately, I’ve been comforted anew by God’s compassion. Hagar ended up in a very difficult situation, kicked out of her home, despised, and rejected. But God protected her and gave her a special blessing. Leah was unloved by her husband, but was remembered by the Lord.  She too received a special blessing, becoming the mother of Judah through whose line our Saviour came. And there’s Joseph, who was rejected and made to work as a slave, all under the careful eye of God who took Joseph’s mistreatment and used it for good for Joseph, for Israel, and for the surrounding nations. And I see God’s compassion for a hurting nation, Israel, as they suffered under the hardened heart of Pharaoh.  He allowed them to suffer for a time, but ultimately had in mind their grand deliverance. It’s this great compassion of God that not only comforts and strengthens me, but motivates me to be here in New Zealand working with people who are seeking to share the gospel with all people, but especially with God’s wayward wife.  God calls Israel His wife who has forsaken Him. He has let her go for a time, but longs for her return. God has a plan to draw her back to Himself and it is an honour to be a small part of God’s call to the children of Israel in Jeremiah 3:12: “Go and proclaim these words toward the north and say, ‘Return, faithless Israel,’ declares the LORD; ‘I will not look upon you in anger for I am gracious,’ declares the LORD; ‘I will not be angry forever.” Please pray that God will use us to show His loving compassion and mercy to those who have wandered from God. Pray that the ultimate demonstration of that mercy in the substitutionary sacrifice of the Messiah will melt their hearts and cause them to return to the only God worthy of their trust.