I have a friend who is spending LIFE in prison. She was incarcerated at a very young age. One would think her life was over but I know GOD has big plans for her and is going to use her life in a mighty way to show HIS GLORY. He is going to use her life in a way those around her cannot even see yet, let alone her, but many have already been planted into her life by the hands of GOD.
I met her while she was in prison and loved her despite what the people in her life were telling her or me. Many at the prison would tell me she was hopeless. I couldn’t stop thinking or praying for her from the first moment I met her in the Chapel Library those many months ago.
Does this story of unconditional love sound familiar? It is not love from within me and I haven’t ever been able to explain it. Ours is not a naturally made friendship but one orchestrated in HIS hands.
God is very familiar with putting people in the life’s of one another without man being able to fully understand it.
We can read Hosea in the bible to further understand the figures of marriage. This, too, is not a marriage of convenience either but of a depth of love that can only come from GOD.
The story of Hosea most closely represents us, all sinners, and how
we walk away from CHRIST, committing adultery at the worst level, even though he Married us, and died for us, unconditionally and HE wants us and HE chose us- we did not choose Him.
But now, this is what the LORD says—
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine
We, as humans, just can’t grasp that kind of complete and unconditional love. HOW could we, the horrific sinner, be chosen by an almighty HOLY GOD?
We will still turn from HIS unconditional love and go for another love … wealth, food, wisdom, material things, other gods and religions, people, friendships with the world, all sorts of false securities.
Do you know anything that pulls us away or separates us from GOD is an idol… all these things are us turning from God’s unconditional love for us.
This Hosea story shows us how He is there always even when we walk another direction.
His GRACE lifts us right out of that pit.
He is our forever faithful one even when we do not deserve the love HE so freely gives to us.
I read this below about the story too about how God promises not to give them up and restoration is the final theme of this book.
(The exception to this view of mankind is the company of the
“called out ones,” the true church of God who, having been redeemed,
take on the inner qualities of a virgin bride through the redemptive
work of Christ.
“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave
himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her
by the washing of water with the word, that he might present the
church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle of any such
thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. Even so husbands
should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife
loves himself. For no man ever hates his own flesh, but nourishes it
and cherishes it, as Christ does the church, because we are members
of his body. ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and his
mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one
flesh.’ This mystery is a profound one, and I am saying that it
refers to Christ and the church; however, let each one of you love
his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her
husband.” (Ephesians 5:25-33)
The figure of the harlot versus the virgin bride form a pair of
The first symbol is that of lost humanity in Adam which represents our sin
The second of restored humanity in Christ.
I truly believe that this woman was placed in my life as my friend for a far greater purpose.
One I didn’t even understand at the time. To show HIS GLORY and HIS POWER and the unconditional love HE has for HIS children.
May you SEE and HEAR that unconditional love today and run, run to HIS ever open arms of GRACE and Mercy.
In HIS ARMS may you Keep ROC
PS. If you want to read an awesome book on this subject read Francine Rivers book “REDEEMING LOVE” … powerful story and true of another friend of mine as she lived this story and now lives in HIS ARMS forever!