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Posts Tagged ‘Hosea’

My decision to stay in Phoenix this summer was the right one. I think God draws us to the perfect places, not the most comfortable. And while I have A/C wherever I go, a car almost whenever I need one, and plenty of food, I am in the most uncomfortable situation of my life.

During the school year, I am on my own in Tucson. I have a life all cut out for me down there. I have class to go to, a job to pay for my food and electric bill, a scholarship and student loan to pay for room and tuition, a wonderful community of friends surrounding me. I live for Bridget Gee. I mean, I do things for others, I served as co-outreach team coordinator this past year and I’m constantly with people. But, I buy the food I want. I go where I want, when I want. I have more things to do, and more purpose.

It is not like that here. I live with my family. I have friends spread out all over. I can get rides from people, or coordinate using one of our cars. I do not have a job. I do not have classes. I do not have a solid community. It is challenging, hard, frustrating and so uncomfortable!

But I have Jesus. And what he’s been teaching me, is that he wants to be all those things for me. He alone wants to be my Comfort. He alone wants to be my Peace. He alone wants to be my Provision. He alone wants to be my closest friend. He wants me to bring everything to him and get rid of myself. He wants me to let him hold onto my heart and adventure it. There have been so many good things about this summer so far. I am trying to take advantage of unemployment. I’ve learned that God is going to teach me to be alone with him. Because he alone wants to be my Security. He wants to be my Everything and I have to let him do it. He’ll take me out of my comfortable (yet encouraging) community and atmosphere if that’s what it takes.

I find that I’m a lot like the prostitute in Hosea more and more. God will do anything to get me to see that He’s the reason for my blessings. He’s the reason for my very life. He’s everything good. So, he’ll take away all the stuff I thought was my portion that I was comfortable with, and give it all back his way. Jesus style.

And I want Jesus style.

That’ll just take some major patience. And worship.
So Lord, fill me with your Holy Spirit.

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This summer, I’m leading a small group in Phoenix and we’re reading through the book of Hosea. We’ve already read chapters 1-4 and have learned a lot.

A little background: After Moses died, Joshua took over and God delivered His Chosen People, the Israelites, into the Promised Land. After Joshua dies, a string of leaders take over, but essentially, the Israelites split into two groups: Judah and Israel. Israel is completely corrupt by the time Hosea and the Lord hook up. Their leaders are not good spiritual leaders and Israel really doesn’t know God, the Big Guy who led them out of captivity. Consequently, they turn to other things for provision and worship. So, God tells Hosea to marry a prostitute and have children with her to see what it’s like to have someone be unfaithful to him. Throughout Hosea, Israel is compared to a prostitute.

In choosing Hosea before the summer started, I was interested mainly because Hosea chapter 2 is one of my favorites in the entire Bible. God speaks of Israel as a prostitute who he takes everything from because she was unfaithful to him. Then, even though she’s a wretch, he gives her everything back but even better. He establishes that they are going to have a relationship and that it will be intimate and that she will know him as her husband, and there will be much abundance. Little did I know that this summer’s study would be for me.

I am still unemployed at the moment. I have applied at 17 places. I need money for my trip to England in the fall. I will be studying abroad for three months. While I know this is something God has called me to, I do not have a plane ticket yet. Or any student loans. I know I have to meet my Provider half way and do something about it, but at the same time, I have to trust that he will give me the perfect and right thing. He will provide more than I can imagine. He not only provides money, but relationships and opportunities to grow as a person when he delivers us provision.

So I know that.

But I have to learn it. Actively learn it. Because God has taught me some crazy lessons in life so far. And he has taught me that he’s my provider, no one else. It’s frustrating. Because you’d think I would have peace right here right now about not having a job and everything I need for my trip to England in three months.

The Israelites in Hosea turn to idolatry to worship, the women become prostitutes for money, or cheat on their husbands for provision from their lovers. The men use the prostitutes all the time. They all drink too much. They go to everything else for everything else because they don’t know that God is right there waiting to pour out abundant provision on them.

I find more and more that I’m like the Israelites. I learn that my God loves like no one else. We’ve tackled some really hard questions like:
Would you forgive someone who cheated on you?
How do you cheat on God? (with what/who?)
What roles has God been in your life so far?
Who is God?

I expect that we’ll tackle many more. So far though, I know that it would take a lot for me to forgive someone who cheated on me. I’m not so sure I could do it. When I turn to other things than God to satisfy me, it’s usually myself, encouragement from my friends, or some sort of numbing. God has been so many things in my life. He has been my Provider, my Comforter, my Lover, my Joy, My Strength, my Passion, my Father, my best friend. And many more things. He wants to consume me. He is all of those things and more.

I guess what I am trying to say by this entire entry is that I am learning so much about God and who he is. It is very challenging and hard. I dare you to read Hosea yourselves! Or, come to my Bible Study! =+ Seriously though.

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