How God Uses the Wilderness to Get Your Attention

An autumn Sunday morning. Blue sky and puffy white clouds and a breeze that had me worried my dress would pull a Marilyn Monroe-esque look as I walked into the church.
Worship was through, communion partook of. I grabbed my notebook instead of my phone to actually handwrite notes on the sermon our campus pastor was giving that morning. It was on the story of Hosea. And how God instructed the prophet to marry a prostitute. One of those Bible stories that are easy to write off as some random cultural occurrence to prove a point, or teach Israel a lesson since this was a time before Jesus ushered in the New Covenant of grace.
Except this is the word of God we're talking about here—even stories such as these have a purpose.
The pursuit of God is a theme tangible in the plot of Hosea. Hosea who, after marrying Gomer, had three children. Except only one is said to be "his." Which means she kept sneaking off, sleeping with other men—returning to her old way of life. This is a prodigal daughter story.
Gomer's lovers ended up selling her into slavery, and Hosea was told by God to buy her back—and he obeyed. He paid the price for her—the lowest price for a slave. One who was considered damaged goods according to Levitical (Old Testament) law—also by that law? Hosea had the right to kill Gomer for her actions, but he didn't. He instead obeyed God, choosing love—living out God's own redemptive pursuit of Israel. Of us.
Hosea brought Gomer back from the wilderness—at her lowest point. Everything was stripped away from her. God brought her to the wilderness. The result of her actions—but it's often in these moments of God's discipline / sovereign will that we're stalled long enough to hear His shouts. He shouts in our pain to get our attention, to restore us to His heart.
If pain is what it takes to bring us home, God will do it. He's done it time and time again through out history.
My pastor spoke those words (not verbatim)—and my pen stalled in my notebook and I almost cried, a piece of my heart clicked back into place.
Restoration, right?
Not only was I sitting in a place I never thought existed or that I needed, with no pain, but the happiest I've ever been. Because God is a restorer. His is a relentless pursuit that never fails.
Whatever your wilderness season's looked like, or if you're in one now—can I encourage you to just hang on? Quiet your heart, and listen for what God's saying to gain your attention and tuck you back into His embrace.


Words, history, and grace color my days here in The Burgh where I seek out the perfect coffee and red lipstick.

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