There is a point in time in all of our lives when we come to the end of our own free will choices and look for some form of divine guidance to get things right. It seems like we can make good choices, but even then they seem to turn out wrong. But sometimes we need to make a wrong choice to get things to turn out right. Confused? Read on..........
There is the book of Hosea in the Old Testament which contains the account of Hosea the prophet and Gomer, the adulteress prostitute. Let's get this right, God told a prophet to marry a prostitute, yes he did. To show Israel the consequences of their dysfunctional relationship with God, God actually directed Hosea to make a choice that looked really bad. But of course, what looks impossible to man is possible for God, read on.....
So they have three children, but Gomer returns to her life of prostitution (her addiction of choice) and then God does something even stranger. He directs Hosea to"Go show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another and is an adulteress." Once again God directing what looks like a bad choice to create a good outcome.
Let's pause in the story for a moment, how about you? Ever thought that the choices you made, bad as they were, might be used by the Lord to make a point to someone or to yourself? Maybe what has turned out wrong can now be used for good, and,because you were in the middle of it, your credibility is greater to those who see the results of your life? Or even more, God helped you to become a leader by honing your faith through the darkness of your worst times.
So Hosea goes and purchases his wife back (think of how much he paid in money, embarassment and hurt), and she returns no more to her life of addiction. God, through this story, wanted to show his people just how far he would go to show them what he was like: loving, caring, never willing to give up on his people. Despite all the things Gomer had done, she was restored, and so are we because the price was paid for our restoration and forgiveness.
This is a message of promise and hope that those of us who have been there can repeat over and over again to our fellow man, even if we don't know many words from the scriptures. How far will God go to bring us back to him? How far can you see? And, then look much farther.........think about that for a moment, God thinks we are worth much more than we think we are. No matter how difficult our past has been, our future can be so much better.
Dysfunction junction is at the cross where we lay down the burdens of guilt and shame and pick up a treasure of forgiveness and grace. That makes everything else that happens us on this earth seem a whole lot less important, and makes our forgiveness of each other that much easier.
If you are a Hosea, is there someone you need to go way beyond normal to forgive? And if you are a Gomer, someone wants you back!
Glenn is an ex-Marine Viet Nam vet who is also a recovering alcoholic, clean and sober for 30 years. He has been involved in start up and ongoing recovery ministry at North Atlanta Church and Campus for the last two decades. He has a passion for outreach and to spread the message that the answer to lasting and fulfilling recovery from addiction is in a relationship with Jesus Christ. He and the ATB team are available to assist in your questions or needs on an individual basis and will do so maintaining complete confidentiality. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.