2 When the Lord first began speaking to Israel through Hosea, he said to him, “Go and marry a prostitute, so that some of her children will be conceived in prostitution. This will illustrate how Israel has acted like a prostitute by turning against the Lord and worshiping other gods.”
Dear God, what kind of dreams did Hosea have for his life? When he was a little boy and thinking about growing up, what did he think his life would look like? I’m pretty sure it didn’t include marrying an unfaithful prostitute.
I suppose each of us has a call on our lives, and, much to the consternation of prosperity gospel preachers, it isn’t always something that will help us live a fun, luxurious life. Sometimes, there is a difficult road laid out for us to walk. Some roads are rougher than others. Frankly, while my road has some pain and it certainly isn’t as luxurious as other roads, the truth is, my life is remarkably good.
Every year I have dinner with three friends from high school. We spend about 2-3 hours together and talk about what’s going on in our lives. We share pretty vulnerably. Children struggles. Job struggles. Marriage struggles. You get the idea. There are years when I go there fairly heavy-laden. I think they do too. But an interesting thing happens during the dinner. If we were to all put our lives into a bucket, bring it to the table, and then listen to the others’ stories, I get the feeling that, at the end of the night, each of us is happy to pick up our own buckets and take them home with us. I think part of this is that we wouldn’t only be giving up the pain, but we would be giving up the sweet parts of our lives of which we wouldn’t want to let go. In most cases, removing the pain would also remove at least part of the good.
For Hosea, I don’t know what “good” came from this pain. Maybe Gomer was delightful at times. Maybe this made his words from you mean even more. I was just watching a video of some guys doing bodywork on a car (I know that sounds incredibly weird, but I promise it’s not as weird as it sounds) and they were using a lot of materials to get the car’s body back into shape: hammers, sandpaper, frame straighteners, etc. The car needed some stress and friction to look the way the body shop needed it to look.
Father, I don’t know what kinds of tools you need to use on me, my wife, my children, my siblings, my parents, my friends, etc. I don’t know what you need to do to our country, and our world even. But I know we need friction. We need stress to mold us into the vessels you have for us to be. So to quote the song, “Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on me. Break me. Melt me. Mold me. Fill me.”
In Jesus’s name I pray,