This week’s reading Hosea 6:1-7:2, Matthew 12:1-8, Isaiah 26:16-19
I have to admit something to you.
Sometimes I hide behind this blog. This Christian blog. Sometimes it is easier for me to hide behind these words where I share the things that will make me look like I know the most or that I’ve got this whole ‘Christ Follower’ thing down.
I am messy and broken.
I think I know what He wants. I do my best to ‘perform’ in a way that is suitable for Him, but it’s exhausting.
I do all the things I’m ‘supposed’ to. Go to church, check. Read my bible, check. Follow other ‘Christ Followers’ on Instagram, check. Pray for others, check.
From the outside looking in you see a nice, Christian girl.
From the inside looking out, you know it’s mostly just for show, sometimes.
Don’t get me wrong, I do love Christ. I love Him. I am a firm believer that He is who He is. It’s not that I want to keep performing, but it’s that I often miss the point of what it means to really love Him.
Because remember, I am messy and broken.
I like to think I know what He wants. What makes Him happy or proud of me. What makes me stand out among the other billions of His children.
Often I like to imagine that He is sitting up there saying to everyone else, “Look at her. Look at my dear, sweet child. She is killing it,’ as a huge smile spreads across His giant face. (Sometimes I like to imagine He talks like me too.)
But after reading these verses, I’m afraid I have it all wrong. I know I do.
While you won’t convince me that He doesn’t find Himself proud of us sometimes, that’s not what He wants.
He wants us. He desperately wants us. An actual living and breathing relationship with us.
He doesn’t want our works. Or in my case my showboating.
He just wants you and me.
For I desire loyalty and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.
Now, I don’t know about you, but I believe a lot of things pretend to be truth. They disguise themselves as truth. And they do a pretty good job. But the only thing that we should ever consider truth is His word.
And there it is.
He desperately wants a relationship with us. He loves us so much. Like more than we could ever imagine loving someone else.
As a mother, I love my two kids beyond words. I remember when I first met them, instantly the very idea of what I thought love was, vanished. Because the feeling that I immediately felt after locking my eyes on them was something completely different. I had never loved in a way like that before.
The truth is, He loves us more than that.
And He just wants us to love Him back.
I won’t hide behind these words and pretend like I do. I mean to. I have every intention to love Him back. But most of the time, I’m loving something else. Money, career, kids, lifestyle, things. Pretty much anything but Him.
I don’t like admitting that. But unfortunately, it’s true.
If you’ve read anything else I’ve ever written, you probably know that I was in a relationship where I wasn’t loved. There was infidelity. I was constantly being walked out on. It seemed like my ex husband chose everything, but me.
Woah. Even as I’m typing these words I can see what He’s doing.
Do I think my ex meant to hurt me? No. But I do believe that he was consumed with everything else, but our relationship and he just couldn’t give me what I wanted.
People expect me to write mean and hateful things about my ex husband. I don’t. Mostly because I don’t hate him. I loved him. I loved him even when he was doing the things that hurt me most. I loved him through the fights and the tears and the utter exhaustion that came with trying to get him to love me back.
But it didn’t work.
The good news, though, is that God doesn’t get exhausted. He keeps fighting for us. He never gives up on this relationship. And He never will.
He’s never going to walk away and say that he ‘just doesn’t want to do this anymore.’
He’s never going to say that he ‘met someone else.’
He’s just going to wait for us to love Him back.
Because that’s what He does. Despite our brokenness and our messiness. Despite whether we deserve it or not. Despite all those things, He is head-over-heels, completely in love with us.
And it’s time for us to fall in love with Him.
Lord, thank you for loving us. Like really, really, loving us. The kind of love that we so desperately look for in everything else and from everyone else. Thank you for loving us even when we are most unlovable. Thank you for always pursuing us and never giving up on us. Lord, help us to love you back. Lord, I pray these things for your honor and your glory. Amen.