Then said the Lord unto me, Go yet, love a woman beloved of her friend, yet an adulteress, according to the love of the Lord toward the children of Israel, who look to other gods, and love flagons of wine. So I bought her to me for fifteen pieces of silver, and for an homer of barley, and an half homer of barley: And I said unto her, Thou shalt abide for me many days; thou shalt not play the harlot, and thou shalt not be for another man: so will I also be for thee. For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim: Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the Lord their God, and David their king; and shall fear the Lord and his goodness in the latter days. (Hosea 3:1-5 KJV)
This passage spoke to me this morning on several levels. The story of Hosea is one that used to baffle me when I was younger, raising questions in my mind such as “why did God ask a man of God to marry A prostitute?!” Well, that was a time of innocence.
I have grown. I know my rights. I know what can support me if things didn’t go right. I know what earthly institutions I can put my trust in if things didn’t go right. I know where God’s place is, unfortunately, when I face problems, difficulties, challenges…..I emotionally vent out to Him, but I put my trust in what the government or legal system can really do for me!
Before, I used to fly. If my wings weren’t as powerful, I would immediately call the “vet”. I have now flown away from the vets. My wings have been shot down by words, negative attitudes, disempowerment and lack of support. I am now on the ground. Rock bottom. I see others flying with support, empowerment and positive attitudes and wonder why that cannot me. I have been told that I don’t deserve to fly, to rise, to succeed. I have been told I that I am not mature to fly. But I think, I have wings with bone structures to rise, they aren’t for decoration. They are functional. I have been flying before. So I am sitting down, thinking about it all, feeling dejected and empty, needing reasons why the road is so rough. I realised that I put my confidence in the very tool which was used to shoot me down. But Jesus, who looks after the sparrow, has put a song in my heart, despite my lack of 100% reliance on Him, saying “why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows form, why should my heart feel lonely, and long for heaven and home. If Jesus is my portion, my constant friend is He, His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.”
Burundi has taught me that whoring is not only when you “lose your salvation”, but it is also where my faith in God results to zero because I go after another “man” who provide “my bread and my water, my wool and my flax, mine oil and my drink. (Hosea 2:5 KJV)”. Situations here has taught me this beyond reason (although it has been hard to accept). Being far away from home, from institutions, from phones, from internet, from legal procedures…Burundi has made me at one point, nearly lose my mind, doubt God, want to throw in the towel! Hey, but who am I to doubt God? I didn’t fully trust Him in the first place! God hasn’t made it easy, because He loves me in particular, whether I like it or not! Little did I know that He hedged “up thy way with thorns, and make a wall, that she shall not find her paths. And she shall follow after her lovers, but she shall not overtake them; and she shall seek them, but shall not find them: then shall she say, I will go and return to my first husband; for then was it better with me than now. For she did not know that I gave her corn, and wine, and oil, and multiplied her silver and gold, which they prepared for Baal. Therefore will I return, and take away my corn in the time thereof, and my wine in the season thereof, and will recover my wool and my flax given to cover her nakedness. (Hosea 2:6-9 KJV)”
He loves me so much, he is teaching me to “abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim: Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the Lord their God, and David their king; and shall fear the Lord and his goodness in the latter days”.
Now, despite feeling shame through my circumstance, feeling singled-out, misunderstood, feeling that maybe I am no longer saved and all the “words” which I shall later expound on if necessary after ten weeks, I know that my focus is resifted, redeveloped, and I now rely heavily on Christ leading. This is where the song “I just can’t give up now” by Mary Mary becomes an anchor…..One day, I know I will tell my story, a song of praise, how I was delivered, from I changed from misery to ecstasy ….I want to learn ALL the lessons today, now, and tomorrow, RISE like an EAGLE.
For all of you reading this and going though a rough time, if God is for you, there is a reason. I want to encourage you that it is only a season. Don’t you doubt for a second that God has forgotten you! Struggle not, because God has blessed you!!
However, I strongly tell you that you should learn the lesson now. Let the lesson become permanent. Ask God, what is it you want me to learn? Give me grace and humility to accept. You see, not all the time, things would go through the proper route, there will moments of absolute shame and frustration. There will be times when it feels that all has failed when you reach out for help, you feel alone, so you want to hide inside. Your trust is not in man! But God is testing how you will react. Can you still stand in Him, the Rock of your salvation? For me, little did I know that on saturday morning when I told God to shape me like dough in a cookie cutter, He started right from Saturday Morning. To shape me, He had to first strip me of my rights. He might do the same to you. I just didn’t understand what was happening to me. I became lost. I wonder how Job did it, He managed with all the false accusations from ALL his friends. I have one, and I am nearly going to die. But guess what, I didn’t. Instead, it has humbled me and taught me how to really turn the other cheek because I do not want to relive this lesson. Work that faith!! Trust God and believe Him. God has blessed you!! Receive the blessing!!!
Hitting rock bottom isn’t the end of life. Just make sure your rock bottom is Christ the rock!
They that dwell under his shadow shall return; they shall revive as the corn, and grow as the vine: the scent thereof shall be as the wine of Lebanon. Ephraim shall say, What have I to do any more with idols? I have heard him, and observed him: I am like a green fir tree. From me is thy fruit found. Who is wise, and he shall understand these things? prudent, and he shall know them? for the ways of the Lord are right, and the just shall walk in them: but the transgressors shall fall therein. (Hosea 14:7-9 KJV)