I'm pretty sure I'm the queen of the "Aha!" moment.
You know what I'm talking about. It's that moment where the light bulb in your head suddenly turns on, and you finally understand something that had been impossibly confusing just a few milliseconds before.
One of my professors in college used to just laugh and laugh at me because I frequently experienced these moments in the middle of class. I'd raise my hand to ask a question, and before he could even begin to answer it I'd suddenly break into a smile and burst out with an "Ohhhh. I get it." He called them my "light bulb moments."
Well, whatever you want to call them, I think they're such a wonderful feeling. And I had one this past week that I wanted to share.
One of the lessons in "The Love Dare" centers around the story of Hosea. Have you heard Hosea's story before? If not, here's the short version.
Hosea, one of the minor prophets in the Bible, was instructed by the Lord to marry a prostitute. (Hosea 1:2).
Yep, you read that correctly. A prostitute.
So, because Hosea was infinitely more faithful than I could be, he married Gomer, a woman who had previously made her living a prostitute. After such a leap of faith, you'd think a "happily ever after" kind of ending was in store for Hosea and Gomer. But, after bearing three children, Gomer was unable to remain faithful to Hosea and began chasing other men.
Now, if I'm Hosea at this point, I'm saying "peace OUT!" and going on my merry way. I imagine myself having a long conversation with the Lord, explaining that, while I had come to love this person He had put in my life, that I just couldn't stick around after something like that. That it was shaming enough to endure the public humiliation after marrying someone with such an immoral past and that I just couldn't bear the thought of taking them back after such a significant betrayal.
And maybe Hosea had a very similar conversation with the Lord, but after some time had passed the Lord called Hosea to again show love to Gomer and bring her home. And because Hosea trusted in the Lord's will, he did. He went and bought Gomer off of the slave blocks and welcomed her home with loving arms.
Maybe your light bulb is turning on much more quickly than mine did, but after reading about Hosea's faithfulness and forgiveness, I was completely floored. I honestly thought he was a bit of a chump. I knew that if I were in Hosea's shoes that I would be completely incapable of doing what he did. That someone who did to me what Gomer had done to him would be completely undeserving of my forgiveness.
And then, after a few seconds, those familiar words popped into my head.
"Ohhhh. I get it."
Aren't we, as Christians, the spitting image of Gomer? Weren't we the worst of sinners before God welcomed us as His children? And didn't Jesus buy us off the slave block and experience the most excruciating pain and shame on the cross as He hung there for our sins? And doesn't the Lord welcome us back, time and time again, when we fall short and sin again? Doesn't He forgive our very worst betrayals, just as Hosea forgave Gomer's?
Hosea's story shed new light on my perception of unconditional love and forgiveness. And on my perception of marriage. I know it would be difficult for me to do what Hosea did, but I know that if I am ever in his position that God will call me to show the same forgiveness and unconditional love to Micah. And no matter how impossible it feels, I will do my best to be a picture of the Lord's unconditional love for us.
Because that's what "for better or worse" means, right? I just knew those vows would come back to bite me in the behind some day. :)