“Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her. And I will give her vineyards from thence, and the valley of Achor for a door of hope: and she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt.” (Hosea 2:14-15)
There is a door of hope. But it lies within the driest of deserts and is surrounded by the sharpest of thorns. It is a barren land, this desert, and the loneliness there can suffocate and strangle. As the blazing sun will not concede in it’s mission to scorch and parch, neither shall the thorns relent in piercing the flesh of all who attempt to escape before it is time. None shall come and none shall go. This… this is where God speaks and it is where those who have been running from Him, listen. And It is here that a beautiful door is given, and hope is born.
How can one possibly escape the grasp of a love so big? It is impossible to do so.
Stubbornness is the spiritual sickness of the Christian and it plagues many a woman of God. There are times – seasons – in all of our lives, that we insist on doing things our own way. For some it is unintentional, yet they are driven by self-righteousness and by a pride that blinds. For others, a line has been drawn in the sand, and they have carefully and intentionally placed God on the other side of that line.
Centuries ago a woman lived – Gomer was her name…and in the world’s eyes she was worth little. But God saw her. And He sees you and I too.
Ancient hands gave…gave a Son – the only One, and as the divine hands providentially wash the filthy, clean – the holy blood bath purifies and delivers because there is power in the Blood. Are we willing to bloom where we are planted? God CAN cause fountains of living waters to flow out from within the dearth that consumes us.
“Therefore, behold, I will hedge up thy way with thorns, and make a wall, that she shall not find her paths.” (Hosea 2:6)
When God places His “Gomer” in the wilderness and surrounds her with thorns – to keep her in and to keep all others out – the misery, at first, is like no other. However, it is through the very wounds that one obtains here through this breaking, which enables the Spirit to flow out from within. But if we fight our God WE. WILL. LOSE. Yet, our submission and attention to what He is saying to us there will yield magenta and orange and bright yellow flowers and they will spring up from dry, dead places inside of us, and a lush garden will appear in this garden of our soul…and Jesus will walk in it in the heat of the day and in the cool of the night.
Communion arises in the most unusual places. And If we are open to God’s hand in everything, a door of hope will open up to us and a fellowship with Him will arise and soak up all of the loneliness. But standing in front of that door will be an invitation for us to repent. It is precursor to entering the doorway of hope, and all who wish to exact upon that door will have to embrace the godly sorrow that leads to repentance, and with it take off the pride, complacency, self-righteousness, idolatry, fornication, bitterness, drunkenness…and all of the etcetera, etcetera.
Repentance chases, and like a detective on a hard case, it secretly follows the calloused heart to confront it and to convict it. But what happens when we refuse it all…the call to repentance, the door of hope, the communion with God? What a sad sight this can be…
Have you ever encountered the pathetic soul who enters the wilderness, is cut by the thorns, parched by the drought, crushed by the loneliness, but never leaves there? The temporary desert experience designed to break them and soften them and yes, mold them in Christ-likeness, turns into something much longer in duration because they WILL NOT YIELD. The door of hope awaits but the handle is never turned and the hinges are rusted.
What a waste.
“Who is wise, and he shall understand these things? prudent, and he shall know them? for the ways of the LORD are right, and the just shall walk in them: but the transgressors shall fall therein.” (Hosea 14:9)
Yes, the wilderness is the antithesis of fun, but it is there where the broken is made beautiful and the fractured is made whole. So let your heart sing the Desert Psalm, and praise Him while you are there, and when you pass through that door of hope to depart into better times, praise Him for the lessons learned.
The sandy blast, it dries my bones, and tears – they fill my eyes –
But when I bow before His will, and learn to recognize –
His voice, His hand, His providence –
they lead me to the door..
I’ll not walk through till I repent –
And afterwards I’ll soar!
Every broken and damaged soul has to endure and embrace the lessons God has for them – whether it is while soaring on the mountain-top, or while they wait in the valley – while in the land flowing with milk and honey, or in the barren wilderness. And when we just stop and listen and take a look inwardly to see – really see – what’s going on, and then respond the way God is telling us to…WE GROW! Because there isn’t anything more beautiful than a broken woman! The world’s standards of beauty consists of nothing more than shallow vessels of vanity. Immodest, flirtatious, strong-willed, and independence are qualities that the world associates with beauty.
God sees us differently. And we need to let Him love us in His own way.
A moment in the hand of God can refine you, define you, and align you. Can you look beyond the wasteland and look forward to the promised land…and be blessed?