I love the book of Hosea. Love it. It reminds me that I’m human, that God is God, and that because of those realities, He is just and merciful, and will never stop pursuing me. I’ve spent most of my life in church (second pew, piano side at that). I went to Sunday School, I went to Youth Group, and I even went to a Christian college. But really, it’s nothing to brag about.
I didn’t really learn who God was until I was blocked.
I’m not talking “annoying person on Facebook” kind of blocked. But stuck behind a wall of thornbushes and completely unable to find my way blocked (like in Hosea 2:6).
On the outside, all was well. I was 24 and I was going to get married and move across the country and go to graduate school and get my Ph.D. And then, it happened. I ran headfirst into a sharp, piercing thicket that would capture my lofty plans in one tangled swoop and penetrate my soul and threaten to leave me scarred for eternity.
By the time I made it out of that thicket, my plans were gone. And so was my desire for them. Things had changed drastically, and for the first time in my life, I didn’t have a plan. I was waiting. I’m not the best at waiting… (Remember how worked up I get when waiting messes up my plans?)
This was kind of my wilderness, I suppose. I had been tied up in the thicket, and then led out into the wilderness to have a heart to heart with Jesus (Hosea 2:14). We had a few things to iron out, and the first was that He loves me, always. No matter what. The second was that He has a great plan for my life, and that plan is irrevocable (Romans 11:29). And then He told me to wait. And it was in that waiting that I started to really understand who God was. It was in the waiting that I came to see hope in my “valley of trouble” (Hosea 2:15), and where my relationship with God shifted, matured (v. 16).
So if you’re blocked, tied up in a nasty thicket, consider where it was you were headed that God might be sparing you from. Go ahead and follow Him into the wilderness and have a heart to heart… and wait.