…there is no pit too deep, that Jesus cannot reach, there is no sorrow so strong, that will overtake His beloved one…and He’s brought me to the wilderness, where I will learn to sing, and He lets me know my barrenness so I will learn to lean…Beautiful Mercy, do what You have to do, Jealous Lover, do what You have to do, You know the best way…
(“Beautiful Mercy” by Laura Hackett)
Let those words sink in. Read them again. Maybe listen to the song here. (I highly reccomend it.)
Now check out these words from Hosea. But first, think about that book in the Bible… Hosea is a prophet, asked by God to marry a prostitute. Why? To show God’s intense love for Israel, despite the fact that she, too, is a prostitute. To show us, the new Israel, the Church, how much He loves us, despite how we run after other lovers. I’ve been reading a book called, “Do You Think I’m Beautiful?” by Laura Hackett. (I also highly recommend it!) Today I read about “The Other Lovers” trying to cut in on our dance with our True Beloved. Men, Friends, Family, Children. All trying to cut in. But they cannot hold us like He can. They don’t know the steps to this dance. Yes, we have desires for these things…God-given desires. But they are vessels. Just as we are to be vessels. Vessels of God’s love. His deep love that fulfills our every desire and need. Our deepest places in our heart’s that fill empty–that’s for God alone. A husband may give us a glimpse–but he is not perfect, nor will he ever be. A friend may accept all our venting–but she will never fully understand. Our family is dysfunctional. Our children will disappoint us (I may not have children, but I am one, and I know I’ve hurt my family).
functions just right.
will never disappoint us.
God’s one aim is to love us. This love is intimate and romantic. He sees you on the sidelines of the dance, quiet, shy, afraid you will never be asked to dance. And He walks right up to you and asks you to dance. And the music won’t end. He cannot stop dancing with His beautiful beloved. And in his arms, placing our feet on top of his so we can learn the steps, we will not fall, except more in love with our partner.
“Another partner just won’t do. Dancing with someone else will be awkward and embarrassing. We will feel insecure and anxious. We can easily lose our step.” I remember my first dance. It wasn’t too long ago. And it was so awkward, for oh so many reasons. We were both learning the waltz. So we both stumbled through it. Yeah, it was fun for a little bit. But I still walked away empty. Sad. Confused. And, at the same time, trying to deny all of these feelings, because I felt guilty for feeling such things. But, we all need to realize that we are made to feel those things. But God is the only one who can fulfill each one.
Hosea 2:13-20 (ESV, emphasis mine)
“And I will punish her for the feast days of the Baals
when she burned offerings to them
and adorned herself with her ring and jewelry,
and went after her lovers
and forgot me, declares the LORD.
(Listen to how He “punishes”)
Therefore, behold, I will allure her,
and bring her into the wilderness,
and speak tenderly to her.
And there I will give her vineyards
and make the Valley of Achor a door of hope.
And there she shall answer as in the days of her youth,
as at the time when she came out of the land of Egypt.
And in that day, declares the LORD, you will call me “My Husband,” and no longer will you call me “My Baal.” For I will remove the names of the Baals from her mouth, and they shall be remembered by name no more. And I will make for them a covenant on that day with the beasts of the field, the birds of heavens, and the creeping things of the ground. And I will abolish the bow, the sword, and war from the land, and I will make you lie down in safety. And I will betroth you to me forever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy. I will betroth you to me in faithfulness. And you shall know the LORD.”