Thursday, 14 November 2013

I am Gomer.

Hosea 2:7
"She will chase after her lovers but not catch them;
    she will look for them but not find them."
Some of you are reading this and thinking, "Woah. Where is this going?!?!"
Some of you are reading this and wondering, "Who, or what, is Gomer?"
 And, before I continue, let me add this disclaimer. 
I have not been unfaithful to my husband.
I have, however, been unfaithful to my God.
In the book of Hosea, God tells him to take for himself, an adulterous wife.
Hosea chooses Gomer.
This story is an illustration of the way God's people have been untrue to Him;
committing open adultery against Him, by worshiping other gods.
If you have never read this story, check it out here, Hosea 1-3, before you go on.
Actually, even if you have read it before, read it again. 
The translation I'm using is from The Living Bible.
It's powerful. And humiliating. And beautiful.
And it describes my relationship with my God.
 As I was reading this story, I realized,
I am Gomer.
Like the illustration that Gomer represents, I, too, have been untrue to my God.
Like Gomer, I have strayed from the One who loves me best.
I have sought after that which the world has to offer, hoping that it will bring me contentment; satisfaction, a sense of worth.
I have looked for fulfillment in being a good wife to my husband.
 (But I'm far to selfish to be a good wife.)
 I have looked for fulfillment in being a great mother to my children.
 (But I am far to impatient to be a great mother.)
 I have looked for fulfillment through having a beautiful home.
 (But I don't have enough money to buy all the things I want.)
 I have looked for fulfillment in my ability to sing.
(But I am far to prideful to allow God to really use me.)
Truthfully, one of the reasons that I took a course to become a certified Gel-nail technician was so that I could say,
"I'm a certified Gel-nail technician."
I wanted to have clients. I thought that if I could say "I have a client today", then that would mean I was important. 
I have spent my entire life striving to be something special;
 to be something that is unique to me.
And always, that something special, eludes me.
I have tried so hard to be someone; to be what I, and others, would consider successful.
But, I just can't seem to do it.
I am longing, aching, to feel like I am valuable.
And I am never satisfied.
Like Gomer, I have tried to find fulfillment in what I can offer.
I have forgotten about my God; my One, True love.

"Prone to wander, Lord I feel it. Prone to leave the God I love."
(Taken from the hymn, "Come Thou Fount Of Every Blessing")

I posted that as my Facebook status the other day.
It just keeps rolling around in my head.
Because, like Gomer, it is what I do.
And I don't understand why.
Like Gomer, (and like Israel, God's chosen people) I seem to continually seek to find my identity apart from God.
And the truth is, I have no identity apart from God.
I know this, so I don't understand why I am prone to leave Him.
I don't know anything about Gomer aside from the fact that the Bible tells us she was an adulterous woman.
But I wonder if she felt broken.
I know what that feels like.
I am just so tired of chasing after value where it cannot be found.
And no matter how much my husband tells me I am valuable,
I will never be able to believe it.
Because my value cannot be found in him, or in how he sees me.
 (He would be the first to agree with me, here!)
Please don't miss-interpret this as a self-imposed pity-party. Because, I do realize that I am a much loved 41 year old wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend.
I know that I have contributed much to those around me.
It's just that, it isn't enough.
Now, I realize that I have probably offended at least half of you with that last statement, but people, it's the truth.
Those things will never be enough for me.
God does not intend for it to be enough for me.
He wants me to find my value, my worth, in Him.
And here is the beautiful part!
Here is what I feel He is trying to tell me.
Hosea 2:14-16,  Living Bible translation
“But I will court her again and bring her into the wilderness, and I will speak to her tenderly there.  There I will give back her vineyards to her and transform her Valley of Troubles into a Door of Hope. She will respond to me there, singing with joy as in days long ago in her youth after I had freed her from captivity in Egypt."
 “In that coming day,” says the Lord, “she will call me ‘My Husband’ instead of ‘My Master.’
In Hosea 3:1 God tells Hosea,
 “Go, and get your wife again and bring her back to you and love her, even though she loves adultery. For the Lord still loves Israel though she has turned to other gods and offered them choice gifts.”
Oh, I could weep when I read this! Actually, I did weep when I first read this.
Because you see, even while I am still so caught up with trying to find value in the emptiness that this world offers, He is drawing me back to Himself. He is courting me, and speaking tenderly to me. Though I don't deserve it, He is in the process of transforming my brokenness into hopefulness.
He is (my paraphrase of Hosea 3:5 in The Message) "chastening me to reverence
    before Him, ready for the End of the story of His love."

I am Gomer.
I am greatly loved.
It is enough.

"Here's my heart, Lord, take and seal it, seal it for Thy courts above."