"Is not Ephraim still my son, my darling
(from Winslow's, "The Burden Cast upon God")
Perhaps a sense of backsliding from the Lord
is your burden. You used to run well, walked
closely with God, and loved to feed in green
pastures with the flock and beside the Shepherd's
tent. But you did not love the fold, and went away
and walked no more with Jesus.
And now the Shepherd has gone after you, and
by the gentle moving of His Spirit on your heart
is drawing you back with weeping, and mourning,
and confession. Your departures are a grievous
and a heavy burden, and like Ephraim you smite
upon the thigh, and are ashamed, you are even
confounded, and exclaim, "Turn me and I shall
be turned, for You are the Lord my God."
Come, then, poor backslider, you wanderer from
the Shepherd's side, you truant from the fold,
and listen to the tender, forgiving language of
that God and Father against whom you have sinned.
"Is not Ephraim still my son, my darling child?"
asks the Lord. "I had to punish him, but I still love
him. I long for him and surely will have mercy on him."
Approach, you penitent soul, though a wanderer,
still a son; though a backslider, still a child; and
cast the burden of your backslidings upon Jesus,
whose unchanging love and restoring grace are
now gently and effectually drawing you back to
"I will arise and go to my Father, and will
say unto Him, Father, I have sinned against
heaven and before You."