30 July, 2009

Call me Gomer

Is it weird that Hosea is one of my favorite books in the Bible? I love it. I find such comfort in the love God shows Gomer through Hosea. I think that maybe if the church spent some more time there we would all be more loving and less judgmental.

I have to admit that I often feel like Gomer. I repeatedly reject the love and comfort of God for the "lovers" in my life. He comes after me, purchases me back, and I run away again. I know His house is safe, I know He loves me, I know it is the best place for me. But my old life, the temptation of what was before calls me back. It is the contradiction of having someone ask nothing of you vs. having someone wanting only the best for you. In order to get the best of us God demands that we live differently, He refines us and (hopefully) makes us into images of Himself. But He can't do that while we cling to anything of this world - physical validation, fame, friends, wealth, status, comfort of home, family, etc. anything that seperates us from Him must be removed for Him to fully work in us.

I am Gomer. I repeatedly reject God for what I know - what is easy, doesn't demand much and is comfortable. But if we get passed Hosea 1 - we see that God gets tired of Gomer and takes everything she has.

"Therefore I will block her path with thornbushes, I will wall her in so that she cannot find her way. She will chase after her lovers but not catch them; she will look for them but not find them. ... Therefore I will take away my grain when it ripens and my new wine when it is ready. I will take back my wool and my linen intended to cover her nakedness. So now I will expose her lewdness before the eyes of her lovers; no one will take her out of my hands. (Hosea 2:6-7a 9-10)

God is cutting off her other options. He is pulling the fruit of His labor that she has taken for granted. Notice He takes ownership of everything she has (my wool, my grain, my wine) - she cannot enjoy his abundance if she is not going to live in oneness with Him. She cannot serve God and man. She cannot carry on in the streets all day and the cozy up to him at night. He will not be shared. God is a jealous God and will not accept less than our full devotion.

The story take a lighter turn in Hosea 3 - but I am not there yet. I am in Hosea 2.

"Therefore I will block her path with thornbushes, I will wall her in so that she cannot find her way."  I read that this morning and my heart stopped. I have been feeling for months that God is calling me from the shelled fortress I cling to. But maybe that's not right. Maybe it's not a destroyed safehold, maybe it's one being constructed to save me from myself. Maybe while I have been thinking His hand was just outside the barrier if I would have faith to take it, in reality he has been severing my ties with the things I prostitute myself to. Maybe it is getting darker, not because the night is coming, but because He is making a roof over my head.

It hurts.

He is stripping what I know to give me what I don't. He is calling me to something better, calling me out of myself, calling me to the place He is preparing. But first He has to take it all and leave me standing exposed so none can take me out of His hands.

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© Amanda Lunday