The following is an excerpt of realization in my life. The realization of the consequences of my actions pertaining to my relationship with God. He took me to a desert to cleanse me because he loves me. It would hardly be true to say God finds us and leaves us in our condition. Far from it! He cleanses us from all unrighteousness. It is a creative, sorrowful, tear-jerking, enlightening, beautiful experience.
A prayer: I have given my heart, in tiny and big pieces, to so many lovers. I have strayed from resting my heart in Christ. I have given my body, my service, my affections, my hopes and dreams to so many others. What do I have left for you, Lord? All these fragments of myself, piece them back together for your calling. Cure me of the sentimentalized and neurotic distortions of love that incapacitate me.
During this time I was brought to Hosea. This book is a beautiful depiction of God chasing after his people Israel when all they can do is run from Him. Gomer went after what she thought was her “lovers” because they wine and dined her, caressed her, made her feel special only if for a night. All the while, God was the one who was wining and dining her. At times, most times, I think I can do it on my own. That I have enough holiness and glory in myself to “try real hard” and do this relationship with God. All the while I stumble and fall, picking up the pieces and attempting to put myself together again at day’s end. My attention and affections are grabbed easily- people flatter me, my selfish nature yearns for satisfaction, and I’m taken from God. Knowing our condition, He still pays a price for us and says, “Listen, you are mine and I am yours. We’re living together. No more whoring around on me.” We are all hell-bent on leaving him, but he sticks directly by us. His insides “churn in protest” to leaving us ruined. So he does not act on his anger towards our wandering hearts. Why? “Because I am God and I am not human. I’m the Holy one and I’m here in your midst. (11.1-9)”
I run in the opposite direction of God. I chase after lovers, distractions, and the passions of my heart. I think my life is in my hands and I am guiding my ship blindly. God comes after me hard, finds me, speaks comfort to me. Lord, you cleanse me- wash my soul and tame me. You get the bride ready for a life with you. Then, you marry her outright- keep her under your roof and tame her. This is love, the hard pursuit of the unrequited love of a whore. One who seeks easy cheap pleasure and thrill; seeks to manage her own life. He sees us, who we are and what we’ve done. Yet, he still comes. He is as sure as the dawn as refreshing as the rain (6.3). Its not because of who we are or what we can do for him. It is purely because he loves us. “I will heal their waywardness. I will love them lavishly…I am like a luxuriant fruit tree. Everything you need is to be found in me. (14.4,9)”
How can we understand this love? The beautiful ebb and flow of moments in grace. When we come to that place of realization- who we are and God’s response to that- what joy and sorrow are met there. We know our hearts will wander again. But, for just a moment, we bask in the light of the truth of God’s enduring love and we never want to leave His embrace. The distractions are gone; we glimpse eternity in our hearts, even if for just a moment. A movement of our hearts being held by our creator- our glimmering self and beautifully renewed hearts are exposed. We can almost feel the desires of our hearts being melted and poured into his. This is love- that Christ died for us and set our hearts on fire for the hope of eternity. He has chosen us, he captures us, and will carry our hearts there. Continue to walk in the love story of Hosea, renewing your mind with the gospel message of grace and having a thankful heart toward our Savior.
I lift up your name in honor and praise.
Who is like you Lord?
Your grace sustains and mercy remains.
Who is like our God?
Unrequited love poured out to all mankind,
The truth hidden in the wake of your love.
Awake my soul and set alight my flame.
Beauty is in your name,
The earth will sing your praise.
This wandering heart will find its rest in you.