“So I will allure her;
I will lead her into the desert
and speak to her heart.
From there I will give her the vineyards she had,
and the valley of Achor as a door of hope.
She shall respond there as in the days of her youth,
when she came up from the land of Egypt.”
Hosea 2:16-17 NAB
It is a story that plays out in the Bible over and over again. God loves His people so much that sometimes, He has to take them out of everything they know to show them. He has to bring His people to the wilderness, where noise and striving cease, where false gods are torn down, and where He can show himself as savior, lover, comforter, healer, provider, friend.
So it is with me. God loves me so much that He is taking me out into the wilderness. Into a land of desolation, confusion, loneliness. A land where He can set me free at all costs. Because He desires me, desires my heart, desires my health and healing.
And along the way, I kick and scream. I beg for the bondage of Egypt and the comfort of chains. I yell and complain and ask why I have to come this way, stay out here, when all I really want is to be in the promised land. But it is here – in the middle of the desert – that He is showing Himself as one who provides and protects and heals.
“I will espouse you to me forever:
I will espouse you in right and in justice,
in love and in mercy;
I will espouse you in fidelity,
and you shall know the Lord.”
Hosea 2:21-22 NAB