Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The valley of Achor as a door of hope ...

“I will go after my lovers, 
who give me my bread and my water, 
my wool and my flax, my oil and my drink.” 
 Therefore, I will hedge in her way with thorns 
and erect a wall against her, 
so that she cannot find her paths. 
If she runs after her lovers, she will not overtake them; 
if she seeks them she will not find them. 
Then she will say, 
“I will go back to my first husband,
for I was better off then than now.” - Hosea, 2

This chapter from Hosea came to mind at prayer this morning.

Sometimes our lives pass before our eyes - reminding us of our infidelities - exposing our hidden sins which were obscured by our more serious sins - our falling into which, was the doorway to understanding our deepest need for mercy.  Though we harbored 'apostasy in our hearts' ...

Yes ... our sins are forgiven and there is mercy.  Yet there remains the pain, the ache, the regret.  It seems to me it is our valley of Achor, and to be sure - it is a door of hope.  It is moments like these that all sentimentality is purified, as dross removed from the silver, our love is fired in the furnace of merciful love - a love moved at the sight of our misery, our extreme humiliation.  It is a grace when we are at last led into that wilderness, without anything of our own to boast of, devoid of any merit to rely on - our only consolation being our confidence in that burning furnace of merciful love. 

I will put an end to all her joy,
her festivals, her new moons, 
her sabbaths—all her seasonal feasts. - Hosea 2

Song for this post here.

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