Are you a planner? Do you plan how your day will go? Do you have your week, month or life already loosely planned? I used to be like that and I still am somewhat. I would plan how my life was going to go; how I wanted it to go and if it did not turn out the way that I had planned I would get so frustrated!
In the past few months, I have been reading the book of Hosea. Hosea is a beautiful and heart-breaking love story of a man (Hosea) and his wife (Gomer), but also of God and His people. In Hosea, the nation of Israel has turned away from God. Israel is disrespecting God and worshiping other gods, false gods. Israel is also making friends with other countries that are a bad influence on them. God tells Hosea to tell Israel that these things are bad for them and to return to a loving relationship with God. Hosea tells them, but Israel doesn’t listen. Israel is searching everywhere for love, acceptance and provision; but they are not turning to God for these things.
One of my favorite passages in the Bible starts in Hosea 2, where God says what He is going to do since Israel is looking everywhere except to God for what they want and need:
“For this reason I will fence her in with thorn bushes. I will block her path with a wall to make her lose her way.” –Hosea 2:6
I think that these verses are some of the most beautiful verses in the whole Bible. God is not being mean to Israel. He is not trying to take away their freedom. God loves Israel so much, that He is trying to protect them from their own bad choices.
When I was graduating from high school, I pretty much did what Israel did; I sorta told God to ‘get lost’. I felt like He was trying to ruin all my fun. I got into some bad stuff – sex, drinking, stuff like that, but that wasn’t all – I also got involved in studying witchcraft. I felt God trying to call me back, but I was following my own plans. In order to complete these “studies”, there was a very scary and dangerous process I was supposed to follow. Every time I tried to follow through with the final process, I couldn’t. I would be interrupted or just too scared to complete it and I was frustrated. God was fencing me in with thorn bushes. He was blocking my path with a wall to keep me safe from the foolish and dangerous path I was trying to walk.
When I finally gave up my plans in favor of God’s plans for my life, things got so much better! I just encourage you when you feel like things just aren’t going your way, step aside to someplace quiet and begin to pray and ask God to show you His path and plan for your life. He has one just for you and He will show it to you if you only ask.
“But then I will win her back once again. I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her there. I will return her vineyards to her and transform the Valley of Trouble into a gateway of hope.” –Hosea 2:14-15