Tuesday, May 3, 2011

When God is Leading You into Desert Places

I write to a friend from Hosea, responding to a heart-cry, a struggling beat I well recognize.

And the words echo in micro-empty moments, a low rumble in my mind and spirit of what was once shouted into all my deafness.

I remember when it began. When I finally began to love The One and Only first, best, and wholly.

I was a young twenty-one, a single mother finally, truly, heart-single by a heart-wrenching choice. Slowly unfurling my mothering-wings and flailing in ever-changing, all-new territory. One year old daughter in the nest, relying on me to bring her True Nourishment, and me the soul-starved just learning to eat the Non-Toxic Bread.

Then I was given charge of two little ones, a tender three and one, and my own babe as well, babysitting and housesitting while the parents were states away. For eight full days.

The busy days wrapped up in a flurry of warm baths and brushed teeth, pajamas and songs, prayers and covers pulled high, stuffed animals tucked close. Then the open stillness of the house pressed in hard, empty stretching out hollow into the high ceilings.

I didn't have him to call.

My routine of replaying my day and listening to his, either over the phone or in his arms, having this broken was so... lonely.

And loneliness feels all wrong, aching deep into soul-marrow, for truly, we were not created to be.

And I find myself reading His Hosea words to me, longing for a soothing for the real, gnawing needs. And I scream-cried at His remedy, beginning by breaking all that was twisted, warped, to reset and heal all that was crippling me.

Then His scalpel went straight to a scarlet letter, one of the only sin-words I did not recognize was branded deep, the heart-source of all the other breaks and scars and wounds bleeding years and memories.

"When the LORD began to speak through Hosea, the LORD said to him, “Go, take to yourself an adulterous wife and children of unfaithfulness, because the land is guilty of the vilest adultery in departing from the LORD.
~Hosea 1:2

He exposes it plainly, and I cannot deny my role in our relationship, how unfaithful my heart has been towards Him.

“...Let her remove the adulterous look from her face

and the unfaithfulness from between her breasts...

I will make her like a desert,

turn her into a parched land,

and slay her with thirst...

Therefore I will block her path with thornbushes;

I will wall her in so that she cannot find her way.

She will chase after her lovers but not catch them;

she will look for them but not find them.

Then she will say,

‘I will go back to my husband as at first,

for then I was better off than now.’

She has not acknowledged that I was the one

who gave her the grain, the new wine and oil,

who lavished on her the silver and gold—

which they used for Baal.

“Therefore I will take away my grain when it ripens,

and my new wine when it is ready.

I will take back my wool and my linen,

intended to cover her nakedness.

So now I will expose her lewdness...

I will punish her for the days

she burned incense to the Baals;

she decked herself with rings and jewelry,

and went after her lovers,

but me she forgot,”

declares the LORD.

Therefore I am now going to allure her;

I will lead her into the desert

and speak tenderly to her.

There I will give her back her vineyards,

and will make the Valley of Trouble a door of hope.

There she will sing as in the days of her youth,

as in the day she came up out of Egypt.

“In that day,” declares the LORD,

“you will call me ‘my husband’;

...I will betroth you in righteousness and justice,

in love and compassion.

I will betroth you in faithfulness,

and you will acknowledge the LORD."

~Hosea 2:2-20

And there in desert whirlwind, eyes hot and stinging, throat clenched tight and dry, His words ring clearly and without competition from all the usual howling voices.

"For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. This is a profound mystery--but I am talking about Christ and the church."

He desires me to leave all else and cleave to Him.

He is drawing me ever deeper, leading me through this aloneness that nurtures oneness. I have known this to be true for other relationships, barely begin to understand it for He and I-time spent alone bonds the hearts close. Develops unity.

"On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you."

~John 14:20

Tears well now again, for what is this wild Love that wounds Itself to heal me? Loves me faithfully through my adultry? Slays me with thirst so I can realize that I'm thirsty? Offers me eternal quenching for all that's long run dry?

And He whispers it tenderly, blowing away all bonds that can not reach as long and high and deep and wide as this protective desert-ocean of His love.

"It is for freedom that I have set you free."

So beloved if... when... Your Husband and Your Friend is leading you further out and deeper in to all that seems so barren, dry, empty... lonely. Fear not!... GO. He means to speak tenderly to you, give you His Name in unity. He means to set you FREE.


Kari said...

You are a great writer! Wow! Thanks for you thoughts and openness. Our God is amazing!

Christina said...

Oh that desert is a well worn place but such wonderful things happen there! That he would do all that for me makes me speechless. Thank you for these words! God blessed me through your post!

Anonymous said...

Beyond beautiful. This is what art was intended to be. It breathes and teaches and IS truth. I am so glad God has given you the supernatural ability to share these things so well. =) It means an awful lot to me, as a fellow member of the same body.

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