Reading Hosea-By His help

Hosea2

When I open my Bible to read Hosea there are days where I pray God touches my heart. That he speaks life into me through his Word. In fact, that was yesterday when I read chapter 11. I even blogged about it. Today I opened my Bible in an attempt to just read it. Get through it, and be obedient to the task I’ve given myself. Tonight I read chapter 12. Again there was nothing that really struck me, but when I get on here to write it out it begins to reveal itself to me. I begin to see it as I didn’t see it before. This is my Bible Study. This is how I hash it out.

“So you, by the help of your God, return, hold fast to love and justice and wait continually for your God” Hosea 12:6

Love and Justice.

I love reading what She Reads Truth has to say about the assigned reading for that day. It helps focus me. Helps me see what God is trying to say. This is the verse that is focused on. It breaks it down, but I really focused in on the love and justice part.

This is what She Reads Truth had to say:
“Hold fast to love and justice. We should walk as image-bearers in all things, trying to be like our Father. If He lives in holy justice and love, so should we. We can praise Him for both the ways He is just and fair beyond fair, while walking in the great love He poured out by sending His son to pay the just penalty we owed.”

We should be image-bearers! We should be Christ-like. Half the time I’m thinking well the only one who could do that is Christ Himself. I fail miserably day after day after day. I mean really I do. There is a constant thought process going on in my head. Ok so we’re supposed to be like Christ. We are supposed to love. Christ IS love. So daily I strive to be loving. Whew! I kinda suck at it I think. Like I really suck at it some days. Maybe I’m confusing patience with love. But it’s a part of it. Like today I woke up with great intentions. Today was going to be a GREAT day! I have been battling a cold straight from H. E. Double hockey sticks & it has brought me down. I feel miserable, but as a stay-at-home-mommy there is no such thing as sick time so I had to do what I do. Slowly as the day progressed I began to slowly lose my grip on love and patience and slip into crabby, tired, sick, frustrated mommy. Each time that happened I seriously was thinking “WWJD”!??!? Corny, right? But true. I mean how would Jesus handle this day? With Love? That’s what I hear. That’s what I’m told. Then I’m like ok I can do this I can handle this. I. GOT. This. Then my 16 month old has a meltdown because I didn’t give her a “Ba” (banana) & I’m thinking, ‘You know what He was Jesus for a reason. I’m Audra. I don’t roll like that”

We are supposed to be Christ-like. We are supposed to maintain LOVE and JUSTICE. Sometimes I don’t know how to balance that. After reading She Reads Truth I thought I would see what the study portion of my Bible had to say about the verse:

“The two principles that Hosea call his nation to live by, love and justice, are at the very foundation of God’s character. They are essential to His followers, but they are not easy to keep in balance. Some people are loving to the point that they excuse wrongdoing. Others are just to the extent that they forget love. Love without justice, because it is not at aiming at a higher standard, leaves people in their sins. Justice without love, because it has no heart, drives people away from God. To specialize in one at the expense of the other is to distort our witness. Today’s church, just like Hosea’s nation, must live by both principles.”

I would say that I lean towards more Justice. I wouldn’t say without love, but Justice tips the scales for me. I’m more you made the choice now deal with the consequences kind of person. I know that I’m this way, but it really hit home when I was eating lunch with a co-worker a few years back. He said, “Audra, you’re a brass tacks kind of girl”. I wasn’t even sure what to think when he said it. He said that I just say how it is and that’s it. I wasn’t sure if that was a good thing or a bad thing. I’m still trying to figure it out. However, that day I started to realize a little more that perhaps I could love more than be “just”. The hard part is knowing when to be or do both.

Even in the small things. It’s learning to be loving when disciplining my son. Which is hard sometimes. For me and for him. It’s dealing with justice, but loving him through it. I struggle more with adults or teenagers when it comes to love. I wield my justice sword a lot rather than throwing a little love in there. It’s a balance. A dance. I need to learn the steps.

The best part is the beginning of the verse:
“So you, by the HELP of your God………….

With he help from God. It means I lean on Him daily. I need to lean on Him daily. That He is always there and I can learn the balance, the dance, with Help from Him.

Reading Hosea – He is true King and Creator

It’s been a few days since I read Hosea. Right now my baby is sleeping, my hubby is working, & my son is with grandma.
I keep telling myself I have to read. I have to catch up. I’m going to catch up today. Three days worth of reading will be done today. An hour into my babies nap I figure I don’t have much quiet time left so I turn of the t.v. and set down my current crochet project. I walk into the office/laundry room/spare room & sit the computer to jump on She Reads Truth. I grab my journal & my Bible. I write down the verses that need to be read for one of the days I missed. I read & then I get back onto the site to read the study portion. I guess that’s what you call it.
Hosea 8 is about God’s anger with the Israelites. How they’ve turned other things into their gods. How they would cry out to him, and how they disregarded Him until they were up against it.

“They sow the wind
and reap the whirlwind.
The stalk has no head;
it will produce no flour.
Were it to yield grain,
foreigners would swallow it up.”
Hosea 8:7

It’s funny how I thought I was just going to read what I missed and sort of carry on with my day. But then I of course read what She Reads Truth had to say. What the focus was. And nothing is ever a coincidence. That exact verse is what the focus was about, and as always it shined a lot on exactly what I do. What everyone does.

Why did I miss 3 days of reading Hosea? I was tired. I was busy with my kids, with my family, with helping a mama out, with getting through my post partum doula manual, with crocheting, with checking facebook for the hundredth time, with the laundry list of things in my head. Not once did I think I had enough time to open the Bible & take the 10 minutes it takes just to get the Word into my heart.

The Israelites made idols out of inanimate objects. When I read about their Golden calf I think they are complete & total idiots. Actually I’m kind of getting off track here. Sort of.

As a mom I feel that I must constantly be on the go. Constantly be doing something. I’m caring for my children, my family 24/7. No days off. No sick time. No vacation time. No alone bathroom time. It’s literally a family affair when I have to go to the bathroom. Suddenly, everyone needs me right when I have to pee. Even the dog. No joke. I have no time. Then I get in this vicious cycle of what else am I supposed to be doing with myself? Am I supposed to be a SAHM forever? Do I want to be? Do I love it? Should I be a Work-At-home-mom? Should have this cute trendy business where I look super stylish & trendy with the cutest kids on the block? Do I learn to sew so that I can make the cutest trendiest accessories for babies the world ’round? Do I blog so that I can suddenly be discovered and be like the Pioneer Woman or The Busy Budgeting Mama or The Wellness Mama, or Nesting Place?? I wish I could be these woman. Do I study this Post Partum Doula Manual and start my own business helping mama’s through the 4th trimester? What do I do? There is a constant need in me or maybe I feel it because social media has created it. I don’t know. There is this need to do more or be more or focus 24/7 on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Esty, & the billion other social media sites out there. I mean EVERYONE has some kind of following somewhere & the more people you follow the more you’ll be popular. You’ll get out there in the sphere of knowing everyone, but knowing no one.
I’ll let you in on a little secret. I get irate with my husband because he’s on his phone constantly. I mean constantly. I get so so so so so mad! But you know what…………I’m mad at myself because I’m just as guilty if not MORE of doing what I accuse him of. I do it obsessively. It’s kind of ridiculous. There has to be a support group out there for people who spend more time on social media then with REAL people. Don’t get me wrong. I know great connections are made through the interwebs. It’s just that all that connecting with people out there makes you disconnect from the people around you & with what should be the focus.

All of that said to bring it back to Hosea. They worshipped idols of their own making.
“They set up kings without my consent, they choose princes without my approval. With their silver and gold, they make idols for themselves to their own destruction” Hosea 8:4

This is what I DO!! I do!! Me! Right here! The mom in her yoga pants who is on facebook too much, the mom who wishes she was like those other cool trendy fashionista moms, the mom who hasn’t started that at-home business that everyone thinks she would be great at. The mom who feels so overwhelmed that she does everything else rather than pick up the Bible and connect with her Creator. The Creator that knows what she is capable of. The Creator that doesn’t expect her to be all & do all. The Creator who has a plan for her, and it might not be all the things she thinks, but that it might just be to be that awesome mom who spends time with her family, that focuses her time on Him, & shows her kids that Christ is REAL! That Christ is the way, the truth, the life!

So then that verse rings in my head again:
Hosea1

When will I spend more time on what will nourish my soul?

When will we stop sowing the wind and reaping the whirlwind?
When will we stop tending the stalks that grow no grain?
When will we stop being swallowed up by our idolatry?

I can easily put an “I” where the “we” is. When will I???

Reading Hosea – We return but He comes to us

Hosea

Usually after reading Hosea for the day I can’t stop my fingers from flying across the keyboard, but tonight is different somehow.

Twos verses stood out to me:
Hosea 6:4 “What can I do with you, Ephraim?
What can I do with you, Judah?
Your love is like the morning mist,
Like the early dew that disappears.”

The last 2 lines of the verse are what struck me. Their loyalness and faithfulness only lasted as long as the dew lasts in the morning before it evaporates. I could only relate it to myself when I leave church on Sundays. If I go at all that is. I feel His presence when I’m there. When I leave though is the test. Life gets to me. Life breaks me down. Some created because my constant worry or my constant need to push myself or rely only on myself or whatever it may be. I walk out of church and it’s like I immediately zone in on the 5 million things that I have to get done when I get home. The list of things that need to get done during the week and so on. And just like that my faithfulness has evaporated. It happens that quick sometimes. I mean in the blink of an eye I feel it all falling in on me. My kids see it. I want them to see something else. I want them to see the spirit of God on me everyday. I know the “life” happens, but I want them to see that HE is life. I want them to see me go to Him when I feel shackled to the everyday. I want them to not see a frazzled mom, but a mom that takes it to God and rolls with it. Anyway, this verse is not lost on me. I see myself in it.

Which leads me to the next verse. Initially this didn’t knock the wind out of me or start a blubbering sob fest. It took a bit of time to percolate before it really got under my skin.

“So he got up and went to his father. ‘But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and he was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him” Luke 15:20

This is about the Prodigal son. The sheer joy and break from custom that this father showed when he realized his son had returned is kind of unbelievable. I sat here on my couch re-reading that verse and trying to imagine one of my uncles doing this. Trying to imagine my husband, my Uncle Larry, my Uncle Steve, or even my brother running towards me with pure joy all over their faces. I started laughing out of the ridiculousness of it. I wish I could say it was a small voice or a loud voice or God started texting me, but it was just this quick whisper of a thought ” Can you imagine me doing that for you?”

Can you imagine that? I’m trying. I’m really trying. I feel like there’s a battle going on with what I know. With what I’ve been studying. With what I can feel, and then there’s the other part where I can’t imagine why God would love me so deeply. It’s something still so hard for me to comprehend and yet I know logically he does. Is any of this making sense?

That question is on a loop in my head. Each time I try to picture Christ running towards me. CHRIST RUNNING TOWARDS ME!!!! Even that part is hard for my brain to make into a picture. Then he throws his arms around ME and kisses ME! It’s like a feel a brush of a kiss when I think about it, but it’s not a reality that I can wrap my brain around. But oh how I want to collapse into His arms, and cry a million tears that I cry alone. How I want to fall into his lap, and tell Him I’ve always believed, but sometimes Satan chewed me up and spit me out. Oh How I want Him to know that even when I doubted Him. Even when I was angry with Him that I still believed it’s just I didn’t always keep my eye on the ball.

Reading Hosea – When we run He is in control

So I opened my Bible tonight out of sheer obedience. I can’t say that anything really knocked the wind out of me. Nothing really grasped at my heart and made me “see the light”. Maybe it was the fight I just had with my husband. That’ll knock the wind out of your sails and want to say WHATEVER! Maybe is was my day training for my Post Partum Doula Certification and helping a mama out. Maybe it was my tiredness of washing yet another dish. I’m finally seeing why bachelors just buy paper plates and plastic ware. Even right now with the profound words I just read I’m still half asleep.

Yet I still feel the need to acknowledge that I read the next Chapter in Hosea.

If I could just copy & pastes this whole chapter it would be worth it. It’s about Israel’s sin & Their complete lack of faithfulness to God. Wow! Even right now reading it to (Sadly) refresh my memory of what I read makes my jaw drop. I mean this is beyond ridiculous! Even the priests were like, “Ya I did that & bought the t-shirt”. I mean they weren’t even following God. They weren’t even teaching God. They were doing what they wanted too, and the Israelites were like, ” Well, that Priest over there is doing it so it must be ok”. I mean if a Priest jumped off a bridge would you do it too?

Hosea 4:5
“You stumble day and night,
and the prophets stumble with you.
So I will destroy your mother -“

A complete disregard for God. For the things of God. Sounds like our world today. If I had to be truthful………

If I had to be truthful….. then it sounds like me. I mean really if I had to look deep into my soul. My disregard for God may not be in the way of the Israelites. By no means really. But it’s a disregard nonetheless. With that being said after I finished reading the chapter I than went on to read the little blurb that She Reads Truth has about what was just read. These are the morsels of truth that kind of woke me up to what I was reading. The meaning behind it all.

“The chasm of sin grows wider and we run faster, but our God changes not. He is still sovereign, even as we flee.”

“God does not force Israel to stay, for forcing is not the way of Love.” Forcing is NOT the way of LOVE! Bam! Seriously, BAM! I often and way too often wonder why God just didn’t make us do what he wanted. Why did He give us free will. IN the end it seems like such a tragedy that the world has turned into what it is today. Or even what it was during Hosea’s time. But this little line made it click. I mean what does anyone get out of forcing one to love them? Certainly not love.

The these 4 lines made my heart stir. HE CHERISHES US!
“We are sinful. He is steadfast.
We are fearful. He is faithful.
We are broken. He binds up.
We cherish idols. He cherishes us.”

And then this one is my favorite. I should have this tattooed on my wrist so I see it daily.

“His love and affection toward us do not change, no matter the depth of our sin.”

This one is hard for me to grasp. Think of the things we’ve done to God. Then imagine that someone has done those things to us. Could we still continue to love? Could we still continue to pursue? Could we still continue to cherish? I don’t know. My humanness can’t fathom that.