Originally published Tuesday, 13 January 2015.
Come, let us return to the LORD. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds. Hosea 6:1 (NIV)
Have you ever been in a place where you look around you and you think ‘Is this all there is to life?’
Up until that point, I’d invested all of my time and energy into building the life I thought I should have. The husband, the house, the job and the dogs.
My future was planned: Build a career, buy a bigger house, maybe have some kids, send the kids off to varsity, retire in a beach house, wait to die… Because isn’t that what life’s about?
But then I realised I was nearly 30, and I wasn’t actually happy.
That’s why I connect so well with the story of Hosea and Gomer.
When Hosea (a well-respected prophet) came along and wanted to marry her, Gomer probably thought all her dreams had come true, and she’d been rescued out of a not-so-wholesome life by a handsome Prince Charming.
They lived a good life together for a while. I’m sure she was the envy of all her friends – she had the husband, the kids and ‘the life’ that so many aspire to.
But Gomer’s heart was restless.
She missed the freedom of her youth and the reckless pursuit of worldly passions. She wanted her beautiful clothes, perfumes, rich foods and to be desired by men.
She was tired of being the ‘good wife’ - cleaning up baby spit, cooking dinner and tidying the house.
She pursued possessions instead of purpose.
She thought she could buy happiness.
I’ve been there.
I’ve filled loneliness with ‘stuff’. I’ve pretended to be happy being the person everyone expected me to be. And eventually I was emotionally and spiritually exhausted. I was more than ready to pack my bags and catch a plane to WHEREVER (so long as it isn’t here!).
I wanted to run away from all of the expectations so that I could figure out who I really was. “What is my purpose?” “Is this really all there is to life?” “What is love?”
Gomer also ran off.
She ran away with a lover who promised to make all her dreams come true. He didn’t. And she ended up selling herself into slavery to survive.
Thankfully I didn’t get that far.
I decided to stand on the only thing in life that I knew was true. The only thing that I could trust and believe in. The only thing that had been there from my beginning and knew my end. The only thing that I could hold onto in the midst of the emotional turmoil.
I chose God. And I asked him to teach me about love.
For so long I had been emotionally empty.
I hadn’t allowed myself to ‘feel’ because I knew all I would feel was disappointment.
I knew I wasn’t being true to myself.
I knew I wasn’t living ‘life to the full’.
I knew I wasn’t in relationship with God.
Hosea, whose name means “Jehovah is salvation”, bought his wife back from the slave trade and took her home. He rescued her from physical chains as well as the spiritual chains that tied her to her past… and that is exactly what God did for me.
Imagine the humiliation Hosea suffered – this well-respected, God-fearing prophet who ‘had it all together’.
Imagine the gossip.
Imagine the pain.
Imagine the rejection.
The same humiliation the Son of God suffered as he dragged the cross to his death. He endured the jeers of the soldiers, the rejection by those he loved, the physical and emotional agony.
And why did Jesus do it?
He was prepared to do whatever it took, to pay the ultimate price, at his own personal cost, to bring his bride home. Just like Hosea, he didn’t care where she’d been or what she’d done. He saw who she was created to be and loved her unconditionally. He found her where she was, and placed her where she should be.
Life has purpose only through relationship with God.
I realised that I couldn’t give love or be loved until I knew the love of God. (tweet this)
God showed me that it is only when I’m in relationship with him that my life has meaning and purpose. I can have all the ‘things’ in the world, and a million friends on Facebook, but they are meaningless without God and His love.
He showed me His love through my relationship with others. My friends, my family, my husband. He romanced me with wild flowers and scripture. He took the shattered pieces of my so-called-life and put them back together, giving me purpose, giving me passion and giving me peace.
Everything has changed since I fell in love with God. (tweet this)
My friendships are deeper, my marriage is stronger, and my purpose is clearer.
I found that the purpose of life is relationship with God. The rest is a journey you travel on together. Every day I discover more about God and his love, and I’m so excited to see where we’re headed.
…and that is why God is my Prince Charming, the ultimate romantic, and the benchmark by which I measure love.
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- This was orginally published on my site in October 2014. To read more devotionals like this go to ilovedevotionals.com