I stole several moments this morning, to quiet my heart. It's been a season of running--running from work to home to church to teaming to family to friends to weekend trips to you name it. The schedule is overflowing and finding that healthy daily rhythm has been challenging. It's been a morning of re-prioritizing, of silencing my heart and mind, and drawing close to Him.
I found myself in Hosea, a book that I admit, I have not read until this year, but a book that has profoundly touched my heart. A book that reminds me that I am Gomer. That I am the prostitute. The one who has been unfaithful. The one who has violated the relationship. The one who, time and time and time again pushes God to the margins of my life. I am the one who is broken. The one who persists in sin even though I am loved perfectly.
We read about Gomer, a prostitute that no one in their right mind would want to take as a wife. But out of nowhere comes this man, a husband who wants to love her, who is jealous for her exclusivity, her purity, her intimacy, who wants her, and yet she continues to returns to the crooks on the street and back to the life of sin that has her so entangled.
No one gives themselves to a life of sin and comes out on top. I am learning that you don't use sin, that sin uses you. We don't use pornography, pornography uses us. We don't use drugs and alcohol, drugs and alcohol use us. We never get the best of sins like materialism, greed, and gossip, materialism, greed and gossip get the best of us. Sin always appears enticing at the front end, but on the back half it leaves us empty, leaves us destitute, leave us feeling worthless, robbed, defrauded, and feeling as valuable as a crippled slave.
And I believe, that when we embrace the brokenness, in ourselves and in others, that the entangled knots of sin, have the chance to be loosened.
You see, Hosea doesn't go back after Gomer again and again because of her worth or her beauty. He goes back to his wife because of his love. And God is the same. God has this love that refuses to ever give up. It's a redeeming love that declines to surrender.
And it is when His love encounters our seasons of brokenness that He brings us into seasons of restoration.
I once heard the advice from a 75 year old Godly woman. "You keep chasing hard after God, and come hell or high water you get to Him, because there isn't any other place to go."
I know there is a lot in this world I have yet to see and there are a lot of hardships and troubles that are yet to come, but I know that in the 31 years of searching to fill the holes of this life, that in the 31 years of wrestling with the strong holds of sin, that in the 31 years of my own personal rock bottoms, and that in the 31 years of my brokenness----I know that I know that I know that there is no other place to go, but to Him. I know that in Christ Jesus there is a love that is like nothing I have ever experienced and grace that exceeds all understanding. There is a God who intimately wants to know me, and who has an abundant life set apart for me.
He is the faithful God, the relentless God, who continually woos me into His presence, even though I waiver in my own unfaithfulness.
Hosea is a beautiful reminder of how we serve a God who specializes in the broken, in hopelessness, in grace, in restoration, and in unconditional love. We serve a God who chooses to use the outcast, the shattered, the humble, the lowly, and the nobodies of this world who are willing to let their lives speak to His beauty, His power and to the redemption He offers His beloved.
Denver Moore once said "I'm just a nobody, who's trying to tell everybody about somebody who can change anybody."
In my thirty one years I have learned, am learning and hope that I never forget that no matter how broken, no matter how far gone, God can use our stories to prepare the way for His story.
So, come hell or high water, the good, the bad, the ugly, the joys and sorrow, the blessings and trails may we draw near to Him, seek out His face, because there is no better place to be than in the palm of His hands.