“Therefore, behold, I will allure her, bring her into the wilderness and speak tenderly to her… In that day you will call Me ‘husband’ and no longer call Me ‘master’.” Hosea 2:14, 16
The wilderness seasons of life are difficult. You feel alone, unappreciated, and frustrated. This is Joseph serving in prison; Moses taking care of a few sheep for years; David being chased around a desert – why would a God who loves me lead me into the wilderness?
First, so you will experience His tenderness. As long as God is just a concept to us we will not understand what our lives are about. God doesn’t lead us to the wilderness to punish or scold us; He wants us to know who He really is. We naturally assume God loves productive and impressive people (because that’s who people love), but all that is stripped away in the wilderness. God’s love for us transcends what we do or how we appear. God loves you. He made you and He redeemed you, first and foremost, so you could have a relationship with Him.
Second, so He can change our identity, or how we think about ourselves. “In that day…” In what day? In the day where we experience the tenderness of God in the wilderness; then our motivation will change. Instead of performing for a master, we will be like a beloved bride to her husband. God will become our delight not our duty; our Protector, Provider, and Friend; not just the One we are accountable to.
So how do we respond when God allures us to the wilderness? Usually we fight it by blaming people or blaming God, or we get discouraged and want to give up. All that our wrong responses do is prolong our time in a place we don’t want to be. Let’s embrace God’s purpose in the wilderness. Let’s press into Him and bring our loneliness, anger, and frustration to the cross. Let’s pick up our Bibles and ask Him to speak to our hearts.
One day very soon we will come out of this season changed by the tenderness of God. It will be said of you: “Who is this coming out of the wilderness leaning on her Beloved?” (Song of Songs 8:5)