Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Remaining Faithful in the Face of the Faithless

It was a cold, rainy day during our time on the sidewalk of the abortion center. Fortunately, two of the women on our team are young and energetic, and they set a tent up to protect our sound system and keep us dry. It didn't rain too long. Soon the rain stopped pouring.

If only the cars had stopped pouring in.

Monday's have become one of the busiest days at the abortion center. An average of fifty cars swarm to the parking lot each Monday. We all spoke on the microphone, but none of the cars stopped to talk with us, and none of the abortion-minded mamas took our literature.

It was depressing.

This is one of those times which we all face in our walk with God when we must trust in the fruit of our labor for the Lord even though we cannot see it. I am NOT good at that. It is discouraging to spend hours in the wet and the cold, and not have any visible proof that our presence made the slightest dent in anyone's hard heart.

Countless prophets and servants of the Lord have labored in apparent vain. God told the prophet Hosea to take a wife who would ultimately become a prostitute and leave Hosea, whoring after other men. Hosea was to continue to preach the message God gave Him despite the faithless actions of God's people in return, exemplified by Hosea's faithless wife. Hosea must have felt despair, discouragement, and grief that he was preaching a message falling on deaf ears, and that his love for his wife was met with stinging disgrace through her infidelity.

Yet listen to what God says  at the conclusion of the book of Hosea about His people who have played the harlot:
I will heal their faithlessness;
I will love them freely,
for my anger has turned from them,
I will be as the dew to Israel;
he shall blossom as the lily,
he shall strike root as the poplar;
his shoots shall spread out; his beauty shall be like the olive,
and his fragrance like Lebanon.
They shall return and dwell beneath my shadow,
they shall flourish as a garden;
they shall blossom as the vine,
their fragrance shall be like the wine of Lebanon.

(Hosea 14: 4-7)

He will heal, He will love, His anger will turn, and His people will repent, return, and dwell in His shadow, and flourish. Wow. We sure don't deserve it.

In the end, Hosea's wife is sold as a slave, and Hosea buys her back.  She hardly deserves his love or mercy, yet he extends both. It is a beautiful picture of God's love for us, His wayward people,  as well as the importance of obeying God even when it feels like your work on His behalf is completely rejected. Trust that all you do in obedience to God will bear fruit in His perfect time.

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