I feel like I’m always saying this, but as ever a particular verse seems to be chasing me at the moment. This time it comes from the prophet Hosea. His story is a rough one; God calls him to marry a promiscuous woman and then tells him that all his kids are going to have names like “not loved” and “not my people.” (Before you stop reading this post in despair, the kids get renamed “my people” and “loved!) But the story isn’t actually about him at all. His life becomes a picture of how God will redeem His people.
Verses 6: 1 - 3 say:
“Come, let us return to the Lord.
He has torn us to pieces
but he will heal us;
he has injured us
but he will bind up our wounds.
2 After two days he will revive us;
on the third day he will restore us,
that we may live in his presence.
3 Let us acknowledge the Lord;
let us press on to acknowledge him.
As surely as the sun rises,
he will appear;
he will come to us like the winter rains,
like the spring rains that water the earth.’”
At first these words seem brutal. Why would God want to break us?? I think it is because He wants to make us completely whole - I’ve been reflecting that sometimes there are things which are so broken, that they need to be removed entirely. The picture that the Holy Spirit gave me is of a wall that is crumbling. So often we ask God to come and plaster it so that it will hold up, but maybe it would be better to knock it down and begin rebuilding?
We can also see how these verses point beautifully to Jesus. Though at the time they referred to Israel’s exile, they also foreshadow Jesus’ body being broken and His resurrection. We know that in three days he was revived and raised up! In this season we’re watching things in our world come down, but perhaps to be rebuilt better on the other side?
This isn’t to say that all suffering is caused by God to break us, but sometimes we walk through seasons where He himself points out things that are broken beyond repair and need to be rebuilt. I wonder if there’s anything like that for you at the moment?
My encouragement is that though it can be a painful process, the rebuilding project is a stunning one. It will produce greater intimacy, beauty and courage in your life and the world. So today if you feel like this has struck a chord, for yourself, or something you have seen in the news, let us know and we would love to be praying for you!
Lots of love, Hannah x