For quite some time, I have been continuously going back to Hosea 6, and getting something new out of it every time.
Tonight, I was reading it, and this is what spoke to me:
Come, let us return to the Lord! He has torn us to pieces, and now he will heal us. He has injured us; now he will bandage our wounds. In just a short time he will restore us, so that we may live in his presence. Oh, that we might know the Lord! Let us press on to know him. He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn... -Hosea 6:1-3
I think that these verses seem contradictory. God as tearing his children to peices, just to heal them? I had to think on it, and this is what I came up with. I know that God is justice. In him is no darkness, no evil, no wrong. Because of this, when we sin, the righteousness of God battles against the sin inside of us. This causes us to be broken down, injured, torn. His justice tears our flesh to pieces. But in his mercy, and through his son and his desire to be in relationship with us, he comes down and heals us. Its funny for me, because the thing that is hardest for me is the most necessary for my relationship with God. This equation that equals healing and restoration calls for brokenness and injury and tearing up of our flesh and our nature. It doesn't sound fun, pleasant, lovely, or joyful, and it's not. But, in these verses, it seems to say that for God to heal us, we must be torn up. Jesus came for the sick, not the healthy, and that is all of us. We are all sick, sinful, fleshy. We just don't all acknowledge it (or at least, I don't do it all of the time). I would much rather not look at that part of myself. But to discover God's healing and restoration and to live fully in his presence, I must become broken, show my wounds, admit my downfalls. God doesn't ask for perfect. In fact, it seems that here, he's specifically calling for brokenness. Not that this should be equated to self-hatred. That's not God. He is all about showing us what we are and where we need him, and then responding to our cry for him, arriving when we admit our need of his healing, and reaching out to his children that long to be with him. His desire is to pick us up, put bandaids back on us, and walk hand-in-hand with him. I don't know if I'll ever be a mature enough Christian to depart from this stage with God. I don't think I'll ever want to.