Sunday, July 01, 2007

"Of Minor Prophets & The Prostitute Wives"

“To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:

These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God's creation. I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm–neither hot nor cold–I am about to spit you out of my mouth.

You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.

Revelation 3:14-22

"I will heal their waywardness and love them freely, for my anger has turned away from them. I will be like the dew to Israel, he will blossom like a lily." Hosea 14:4

I am blown away by God's mercy and grace towards me today. His amazing love, and patience are of infinite scope and I cannot even begin to glimpse them knowingly. Yet, I will be totally honest here, I am frustrated with myself, because I want Him so much more.

I realized, today, in church, that I am discontent with where I am at. I am so lukewarm, and like Jesus Himself said in Revelation, I would rather be hot or cold, but I want to spit this lukewarmness out like tepid well water from my mouth. It hit me today, a slight epiphany (I wish it was much more life shaking), I am sick of my spiritual state. Literally, sick, disgusted by myself. Ok, now don't get me wrong, I'm not being overly hard on myself, in a fit of self-depreciation. I just had a wake up call from God. If I am feeling this way about where I'm at with Him, what must my God be thinking?

I have a friend, one I miss a lot, but whatever. He has a saying - when things get pretty bad, and you think it couldn't get much worse, and you look at your life and it sucks, well, at least you didn't marry a prostitute. It stems from the Hosea/Gomer account in the book of Hosea, in the Minor Prophets. There is a song, by Pedro The Lion, which I love, called "Of Minor Prophets And Their Prostitute Wives", which reiterates the theme of God's patient calling back of Gomer, through Hosea, and all that it symbolizes (namely that the song is written to you & me, not necessarily Gomer). All this is to make a point, that sometimes I use this phrase, in jest, and think, well, things are bad, but at least God hasn't made me do something I never thought I could, something reprehensible like marrying a prostitute.

Today, however, I realized, I am that prostitute. I am a dirty, fallen woman. Maybe no more, or less, than some other people, even other Christians, if things were looked at quite literally. But in my heart, I know my own lukewarm attitude, my take-it-or-leave-it way of living, my faithlessness, my distrust, and my own self-dependant, self-serving attitude. I am no different than faithless Israel, who so many times would whore themselves for little things, and forsake the God that was waiting for them like a faithful, loving, patient Husband. Do I think I am any different than the people that God had to send prophet after prophet to?

I fail to remember His goodness and His provision, much less thank Him for it. They did the same. I turn to my own ways, often sinful and hurtful, to provide for my life, my needs and my wants, instead of waiting on Him to be my all in all, my supporter and provider - basically my Husband. They did the same. I forget what pleases Him and neglect to even try to bring Him glory, and instead seek whatever makes me happy, pursuing my own plans, my own little pleasures. They did the same.

How, when did I slip so far? I want my Jesus back in my life! I want my joy back, and I want to love on my Jesus so much again. I miss Him, so, so, very much. I just want my passion back!!! Lukewarm living has taken it's toll, and it was in God's grace and mercy that I even could recognize it. I know He has gone nowhere, but I have. I have turned to myself, again, in a fit of independence, instead of turning to the One who has it all in His hands. But now, I just want Him back! How faithless and fickle a woman I am. When I leave, and I fail in my stupidity, I am blinded, but then, I turn and want Him back?? Who am I to even deserve Him?

You know who I am? I am Gomer. Gomer whom He called back through the love of Hosea. I am Israel, Israel who He forgave time and again, and redeemed in an act of pure love. I am Trinette. I am the most undeserving, independant, selfish woman, and I totally am His child, who He has promised to love and to redeem. I am the one who holds this promise, as so dear to my heart:

The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness. I will build you up again and you will be rebuilt, O Virgin Israel. Again you will take up your tambourines and go out to dance with the joyful ...

...“Hear the word of the Lord, O nations; proclaim it in distant coastlands:’ He who scattered Israel will gather them and will watch over hiss flock like a shepherd.’ For the Lord will ransom Jacob and redeem them from thee hand of those stronger than they. They will come and shout for joy on the heights of Zion; they will rejoice in the bounty of the Lord—the grain, the new wine and the oil, the young of the flocks and herds. They will be like a well-watered garden, and they will sorrow no more.

Then maidens will dance and be glad, young men and old as well. I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow. I will satisfy the priests with abundance, and my people will be filled with my bounty,

Jeremiah 31:3-14

And like the song goes "But your still playing for a love you'll never find outside of these arms of mine. The whole town is one step behind you, with the hang man on call. They've got the judge and you're convicted without a plea. Darling, they will listen to me. So, come home, darling, come home quickly, come home, darling, all is forgiven, so come home quickly." I know that I can go home, I can run home, quickly, like a child into His open arms, His waiting arms. It is in those arms alone that I will find the love that I desire, and that sparks my heart to trust Him alone and to live passionately for Him. The thought of that kind of love brings me to tears tonight, because I cannot fathom it, I cannot replicate it, I can only embrace and accept it. And tonight, I am blessed to go to sleep knowing that I am loved, and redeemed and guarded in His big, strong, infinite hands. I may be a prostitute (aren't we all?), but I am loved. Just like Gomer. Just like me.

1 comment:

Special K said...

I totally feel you on this one. Like the song this morning that made me weep--

I come into this place, burning to receive your peace.
I come with my own chains, for wars I fought for my own selfish gains.

Your my God and my father, I've accepted your son.
But my soul feels so empty now, what have I become?

Lord...Come with your fire, burn my desires--Refine me
Lord...My will has deceived me, please come and free me--Refine me

My heart can't see, when I only look at me.
My soul can't hear, when I only think of my own fears.

And they are gone in a moment, your forever the same.
Why did I look away from you, how can i speak your name?