Monday, March 1, 2010

Empty and Expectant

So lately I've been going under serious construction with the Lord. In the past two months I feel like God has taken everything about me, inspected it, bulldozed it over, and cleared away the debris. For a while I questioned this. I asked God why he was taking so much from me, and even thought he was punishing me for past disobedience. It was not until read out of Hosea that God revealed to me what was really going on.
In Hosea chapter 2 God gives Hosea the image of an adulterous wife who goes out from her first love to seek other lovers whom she believes will provide for her satisfaction. He says that he will keep her from reaching the lovers that she seeks after that bring her away from him by building a wall of thorns between them. When she could not find satisfaction in another lover, she returned to her first love. While this is referring to the nation of Israel during Hosea's time, it also applies to us now. Think about it for a second. Think about every time that you've tried to do something against God's will that you thought would bring you happiness. Did you succeed, or did you come back to God, hands bloodied and scared, wondering how you mangled yourself to that extent? God protects us from ourselves and the "other lovers" we think we need, whether it be sex, drugs, cutting, alcohol, or any other addictive, sorry substitute for the love of God. Even if it hurt us, he will do everything he can to keep us from destruction.

This is where my story fits into this parable. I had gone out and searched for other things to fill the place of God, namely a boy, and obviously...he didn't quite measure up (which for the record is saying nothing against him, he couldn't have measured up to Jesus even if he was Prince Charming!). When I came back to God, I expected business to carry on as usual and for God to make everything perfect, as if it ever were in the first place. Obviously this is not how it works. Back to the story in Hosea, after the woman returned to her husband, he took everything from her. He took all that he had given her. Honestly, until February 20th, I felt like I had come back to God, and that he was punishing me for my absence...but in reality, he wasn't doing that at all. In Hosea Chapter 2 verses 14-17 it goes on to say “But then I will win her back once again.I will lead her into the desertand speak tenderly to her there. I will return her vineyards to her and transform the Valley of Trouble into a gateway of hope.She will give herself to me there,as she did long ago when she was young,when I freed her from her captivity in Egypt. When that day comes,” says the Lord,“you will call me ‘my husband’instead of ‘my master.’ O Israel, I will wipe the many names of Baal from your lips, and you will never mention them again." It was through this I realized that God was not taking apart my life to punish me, but to redefine me. He stripped me of all that I had, simply so that he could lure me into the wilderness once again and speak to my heart and give me hope out of my depression, and freedom out of my captivity. Not only did he redefine me, but he also took the name of my false idols from me, and took away their power over me, just as he removed the name of Baal from the lips of the woman. After living with other lovers for so long, the lover of my soul merely wanted to remind me of who I really was and set me back on the path I belonged.

So where are you today? Are you wandering, searching for something that can satisfy you? Have you just come back from that journey with your hands and soul wounded? I assure you that on this day, whether you are seeking God or not, that as a child of God he is a.) protecting you from harm, even harm that is self-inflicted and that b.) even if you feel like the world is falling apart around you and your questioning why he's allowing it to happen, that you don't need to question because I can garuntee you that the wilderness is just around the corner, and it is there that God waits to redefine you.

I leave you with the following scripture out of Hosea Chapter 6, verse 1:

“Come, let us return to the Lord.

He has torn us to pieces; now he will heal us.
He has injured us; now he will bandage our wounds.
In just a short time he will restore us, so that we may live in his presence.
Oh, that we might know the Lord! Let us press on to know him.
He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn or the coming of rains in early spring.”

Never doubt this promise, and although your soul may be broken and your heart shattered, return to Abba Father, and let him heal you with his love and tender mercy. Don't be afraid to loose it all, because everything he has to give is just waiting to be poured out when you do.

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