#messylove

A Love Story I Never Knew I Had

dirty feet

The dirt that clung to the ridges of her sweaty feet posted a clear picture to the smudges of regret and guilt that clung to her heart.  Her thoughts spun out of control with inquiry, “How did I end up… here?”

She stood on a rough block of wood elevated a few feet above the ground displaying the goods that were on sale. Tears streaked down her face collecting dirt as it fell. The choices of her life flicked like a doomed 8 mm movie in her brain.

Gomer was loved once, deeply loved. Hosea chose her to be his bride, his woman, his life partner.  She was valued, respected, and adored by her husband, Hosea.

Deep down inside though was housed a painful thorn-like thought: she was living a sham. “How could he love me? Does he know who I really am? ”

She was convinced she didn’t deserve his love. So she moved to strike first, to reject him before he rejected her. She followed her stupid, restless heart into the arms of another man. And another. And another.

Eventually, she ran out of money and men, became a slave due to money she owed, and now was being sold to the highest bidder.

Suddenly, a familiar voice cracked through the humid air and brought shock waves to her heart.

“I’ll buy her.”

That familiar voice. Could it be? Could it really be her… husband, Hosea?

“I’ll take her for 15 pieces of silver and barley.”

“SOLD.”

As he approached, she could make out his silhouette clearly. The way he tilted his head slightly to the right with curious determination. His broad shoulders and curly thick hair. She gasped with long-forgotten hope.

Hosea. She dropped her eyes avoiding the judgment she would surely endure from him. Trembling, she fell to the ground.

The warmth of Hosea’s touch jolted life into her bones. He lifted her chin. Tenderly brushed the hair out of her eyes. Then, scooped her up and carried her away from her dirty life.

She began to sob. This man. This man who she rejected. This man who she deeply hurt. This man who she humiliated… gave all he had and bent down into her dirt and lifted her up.

She tried to resist him, whimpering faintly, “Don’t mess with me. I’m not worth it. Find someone else who is more worthy of your love.”

His tender breath brushed the edge of her ear whispering a declaration that changed her life forever, “I want you.  I love you. I’m buying you back to restore you as you truly are, a loved and valued woman. My wife. Now, let’s go home.”

* The story of Hosea and Gomer in Hosea 1, 3.

Their beautiful love story paints in high-definition God’s love for you and me.  Although we may reject Him again and again, He gives everything (the life of His son Jesus) to buy us back in order to restore us to our rightful place, of honor and value in relationship with Him.  It’s a messy love that will change your life forever.

Things to think about:

1. What are some misconceptions you may have about God’s love for you?

2. Read 1 Corinthians 13. Make a list about what true love is. Star those things that you have difficulty believing.

3. Describe the change that this truth of God’s HD love can make in your life.

That is the redeeming messy love story of Hosea. There is much to learn and apply. Let’s go for it…and explode out all that this means for you and for me!

Hosea

I’ll see you on Thursday! Click HERE for other posts in this series.

p.s. I previously mentioned that today we’d unveil Gomer’s 3 children, but they are better saved for a bit later…stay tuned.