February is here and I am so excited to show you what is coming up on the agenda for the blog:
We, you and I together, are going to be diving in deep and studying the book of Hosea! Hosea is one of those books of the Bible that you often do not hear much reference to and I think that’s because well, it’s not really the happiest story you can find. So why did I choose it? Well, for many reasons actually.
The first reason is the season. February happens to be a month that has a certain holiday within it that some people love to hate, yet others hate to love. That holiday also happens to be a day that’s very important to me. February 14th is the day my mom decided to grace the world with my presence (and yes she really did get to pick the date.)
Having a Valentine Birthday really gives you an interesting perspective on the day. No matter how people complain, gripe and groan about it, it never really can be a sad day for me – despite the fact that the only flowers I got for most of them had a card saying,”Happy Birthday to our Valentine! We Love You! Love, Mom, Dad, & Bubba”. Meanwhile, my other peers had received life-sized teddy bears from their secret admirer that wouldn’t even fit on the bus seat with them.
For real though, what is all the fuss about Valentine’s Day anyways? Why do people go overboard with all the stuffed animals, flowers, and chocolate? But then why do other people detest it?
That brings me to my next reason for choosing Hosea – it’s a look into someone else’s love story. Perhaps this is why all singles hate Valentine’s Day so much. Scrolling through your Facebook feed is probably enough to make you vomit after you’ve reached the third post in a row of someone bragging about their V-day loot and how loved they truly are. And maybe you love Valentine’s Day and the opportunity it gives you to tell others how much they mean to you. I bet every V-day loot Facebook post you see, you’ll be throwing hearts to them like they’re going out of style. Love it or hate it, Valentine’s Day forces all of us to look into someone else’s love story.
Hosea tells a tragic yet in the end triumphant story of two people who needed to learn a lot about love. At first the book really doesn’t seem like much of a love story at all. You have a prophet named Hosea who’s married to a harlot, Gomer. Despite her repeated unfaithfulness, God tells Hosea to go after her, take her back, and then do it again. Hardly seems like a happily ever after, right? But through their relationship, God paints a bigger picture of His relationship with Israel. Despite her unfaithfulness, God goes after her, takes her back and then does it time after time again.
Not only does the book of Hosea let us look into another love story but it beautifully gives us a wide-open, heart stabbing look into our own love stories -my third and final reason for choosing this study. Ah-Ha! Perhaps this is why so many people dislike the holiday because getting too personal like that gets uncomfortable. This Valentine’s season, I’m going to ask you to step away from evaluating and comparing your relationships in the earthly realm, whether they are there for you are not, and step into evaluating your relationship with God -your own true love story.
This love story is the one that’s always been there, no matter what your Facebook relationship status says. He’s been there every Valentine’s Day, whether you’ve came home to a house full of roses or hung all of your ex’s pictures on the wall to throw darts at. His love is true, constant, unconditional, and the ONLY love that can transform souls.
Hosea is going to let us look deep into God’s overwhelming love for His wayward sinful children -all of us, you and me. We’re going to see it in a way we might not have ever been able to see it before. There is a God who fights for us, who’s after us, pursuing us just as we are. He desires our love so immensely that it hurts Him. Oh if we all could truly understand our desperate need for that type of love!
So would you please, join me in the pursuit of knowing this kind of love? Even if you have all the roses, love letters and fancy dinners coming your way this Valentine’s Day, it’s still not going to be enough. You’ll still be searching just as hard and fighting just as much to find what your soul is missing.
READY TO START?