April 15, 2021
By David VanEpps
Life was all about me. I believed that there was a God, but I was certain that He would never want anything to do with me. I measured myself against my transgressions of the Ten Commandments and I didn’t stand a chance. I was broken, personally and spiritually. Unfortunately, I believed in hell and knew that’s where I was destined. It seemed pointless to try anymore, until…
On December 12, 2010, I heard a message from the book of Hosea. The story is about Hosea and his wife, Gomer, and how she prostituted herself with lots of other men. She kept running away from Hosea and seeking other husband-substitutes. Each time she ran away, Hosea pursued her, forgave her, called her home, and loved her unconditionally. I sat there wondering why Hosea would waste his time with Gomer and not just kick her to the curb.
Then the story was translated to a story about God. Hosea is the metaphor for God, Gomer is the metaphor for me, and her behavior is the metaphor for how I continued to run from God and seek other God-substitutes, only to be disappointed time and time again. Yet each time I did, God pursued me, forgave me, called me home, and loved me unconditionally.
As this story about God’s incomprehensible, crazy, reckless love made its way into my ears, through my brain, and into my heart, I started sobbing out of control. For the first time in my life, I truly felt the love of God, not because of me, but in spite of me. I felt the weight of the world lift from my shoulders and I felt a warm, embracing love that I’d never felt before. Despite the tears pouring out of me, I felt a peace that I never imagined.
I’m incredibly thankful for all He’s done in my life and for transforming my life in so many wonderful ways. I won’t say my life is perfect–it’s not. I’m still broken. But I deal with the brokenness much better. I feel loved and at peace and I know my life is about something much bigger than myself, which is something I never felt before accepting Jesus. Every day, I wake up blessed with purpose and joy, knowing that God loves me and is on the journey with me, not because of who I am, but in spite of who I am.
Photo Credit: Jason Betz