Friday, September 12, 2014

#SheSharesTruth: Hosea & My Ebb and Flow Relationship

Hello Brownbaggers!

School is officially back into swing and I'm so grateful to be back!  As you've probably noticed, I haven't posted in a while.  I decided to take a 2-week hiatus while I was getting myself situated.  I have quite a bit on my plate this semester: teaching, taking classes, writing, researching, mentoring, etc.  It took a little bit of time to get adjusted but I think I've got it down.  In the meantime though, I've been reading Hosea along with the #SheReadsTruth community. It gave me some much needed time to reflect on my relationship with God, who I am in Christ, and who I want to be in Christ.

I've come to believe that every person's relationship with God ebbs and flows. This was something that I never knew before. I would go through times of incessant prayer, Bible reading, praise music listening, and joy.  And then I would go through lulls where God wasn't on my mind until my routine nightly prayer. I wondered what was wrong with me. 

Why couldn't I be on fire for Christ 100% of the time, 24/7?

Then I began to realize that this was normal.  Everyone goes through these waves in their relationships with God.  And that's okay.  It's something that we need to plan for though.

Hosea is quite an interesting book. Focusing on adultery and betrayal but also love and grace. Hosea's relationship with Gomer is so interesting to me. God asks Hosea to take a harlot as a wife. Yes, a harlot. Not surprisingly Gomer is not faithful to her husband. She is constantly stepping out on her loving husband; it's in her nature.

As you read the book of Hosea you come to understand that this is both metaphorical for God's relationship with Israel, and more depressingly us.  God is our loving Husband.  He's my loving Husband (which I'll admit sounds weird to me when I type it). He created me and all of my intricacies. He knows me better than I know myself and loves me more than I could possibly fathom. And I repeatedly step out on him.  

Therefore, behold, I will allure her,
Will bring her into the wilderness,
And speak comfort to her.
I will give her her vineyard from there,
And the Valley of Achor
as a door of hope;
She shall sing there,
As in the days of her youth,
As in the day when she came up
from the land of Eygpt.
-Hosea 2:14-15

Even though I have betrayed God countless times, whether it be from my words, actions, or thoughts, God will show me the way back.  Not only will He accept me in the end but He will show me how to get there.  How incredible! Especially if you consider it from the other way around. How many times would you accept and forgive your husband or wife for cheating on you? Betraying you? For myself I would say zero times. But God does this time and time again because He loves us in a true and deep way.

I want to be able to look back and see that through the waves, my relationship with God has grown deeper and stronger. I want to be able to plot events and interactions on a grid and see how my relationship with God is gradually and steadily improving. Yes, I still believe that my relationship with God ebbs and flows. It will probably do that for the rest of my life. I won't let that happen purposefully. I won't set out to get into a lull. But I need to remember to plan for those times of spiritual prosperity and famine. 

I will heal their backsliding,
I will love them freely...
-Hosea 14:4a