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Friday, January 26, 2007

Why Have I Wandered?

Over the last year and half of depression and struggle, I have had a deep desire to not run from God, but seek Him, pursue Him, be still with Him, and allow Him to work on the deeper places of my soul as they are brought to light. One of the ways I've done that is committing to talk with and listen to Him through prayer, music, art, books, and the Bible. Over the past week I have been reading the Old Testament book of Hosea. For some reason I was drawn to it. I just got through an amazing time in the New Testament book of Hebrews. But as I thought about what to move onto next, my mind kept coming back to I decided to go for it, not knowing what God had in store for me.

Hosea is the story of a prophet in Isreal (Hosea) that God tells to marry a common slut and have kids with her. God uses this family as a living example/story/parable of God's love for us. As Eugene Peterson writes in The Message, "God loves us in just this way - goes after us at our worst, keeps after us until he gets us, and makes lovers of men and women who know nothing of real love." Wow. So I went into this experience eyes wide open wondering ever more how God was going to move, speak, and lead.

Then, last night, this verse caught my ear, "My God will reject them because they have not obeyed him; they will be wanderers among the nations." (9:17) And I thought - I'm a wanderer. Like Israel, I've lived life like a vagabond it seems. Moving, taking on school, a new job, another new job, and now school again. Hhhmmm. Kelly and I have felt all along the way like God was moving us in new directions, to new locations, but I sense that God is using this story to remind me of obedience - and maybe my lack thereof. Obedience to Him, but specifically what? I'm not sure.

I definitely don't feel like God has rejected me or washed His hands of me. I know in my head and feel in my heart that He continues to call out, "I'm right here. Trust me. Follow me. Obey me. I love you." And if I'm completely honest, I do drag my feet many times. But maybe there are some areas that I am living in serious disobedience. I'm going to have to have God help me uncover some of those (Pride? Lust? Laziness? Hypocrisy? Finances? Others?). It may take some time and could be - probably will be - painful. Good, but painful.

So maybe I'm a wanderer because of my own choices to "run" and not deal with sin/stuff. Maybe I'm a wanderer b/c God is allowing me to move (or making me move?) until I come to my senses, surrender, and seek Him out on this stuff. And maybe I'm a wanderer b/c of both.

All I know is this: God, you have my attention. My heart, mind and soul are still. I will wait on you.

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