SheReadsTruth challenged us to read the book of hosea with our eyes open for God's heart.
the more i read it with that filter on my mind, the more surprised i am. 13:6 in particular took my breath away - because He's hurt! can God be ... hurt? i never thought about it like that before. but He can. He is.
check this out:
"... they were filled, and their heart was lifted up; therefore they forgot me." isn't it strange? there's almost a note of something forlorn there at the end. "they forgot me." the sort of thing a fifth child might say after being abandoned at pizza hut ;).
but hosea provided for his wife - everything she needed. and when she had her fill of grain and gold, she forgot him completely. she was busy with her lovers - what did she need her husband for? everything - her food, her clothes, her jewels - passed through her hands, and she didn't stop to think "this came from my husband!" or even "thanks, hosea." just - nothing. she forgot him.
and he didn't quit. he kept on trying to get her back. he kept pursuing her. gently. fiercely. in love.
God is the same way!
everything i have and enjoy - the very breath in my lungs, the heart beating in my chest - is a gift from Him. my kids. my husband. food. shelter. joy. friendship. sunshine. and instead of turning to him in thanks and delight, i treat these things as if they've always been mine.
and i'm ashamed to admit that i'm worse than petulant if i find myself without something i think i ought to have.
but still He loves me. clearly, not because of good in me (i'm gomer!), but because of His joyful, generous, blessed, loving, committed heart.
i think that's what gets me at baptisms and weddings. there's this moment when two declare "we are one. we bind ourselves to each other!" and it's for better or worse, for always. i cry like a teenage girl. because i know there isn't any one of us who deserve that kind of commitment from Him. but He gives it anyway.
"they forgot me."
you know in gone with the wind, how scarlett is always pining after ashley, even though rhett is the one taking care of her? and the whole frustrating awfulness is that anyone can see scarlett isn't worth rhett's effort, but he still tries and tries and tries, even though she's selfish and vain. and then in the end, she realizes what she has in rhett, and the weight of his love overwhelms her - but she's too late. she's too late. she rushes to him and confesses her love, but his heart has been broken by her faithlessness, and there's nothing left in it for her.
i keep expecting God to be like rhett, and to just wash his hands of his faithless, selfish, idolatrous people.
but He doesn't. bless Him. He doesn't! He still loves. it still hurts him to be forgotten.
there's so much more. He doesn't stand idly by and let his people wallow in their sin. He roars and fights and conquers. but that little verse just stuck with me - that cry of His hurting heart.