From Heartbreak Valley to Acres of Hope
Have you ever had moments where you want to press the 'reset' button on your life? Where you want to give your life a re-boot - to take a break, wipe the slate clean and start all over again?
Maybe it's in those moments when you realise that your friendships or relationships with family aren't where you want them to be - they are no longer fun-filled and life-giving, but instead lead to hurt and drain you of energy. Or perhaps it is those days when work is overwhelming, exams are looming, the to-do list is longer than your arm and you just end up deleting your whole essay and start again.
Or sometimes it's spiritual things, when you realise that you feel far from God, that you can't remember the last time you prayed or read the bible and you feel spiritually dry. It's so easy end up feeling despondent and helpless in the midst of it all.
The great news is that the Bible speaks into these kind of situations, and today we'll look at some amazing verses from the book of Hosea. Hosea was a prophet, and at the time he was living, few people in Israel were being loyal to God's ways. It was a massive mess, and God told Hosea that He was very sad with the way the Israelites were living and treating Him.
However, God makes it clear that all was not lost, when he says:
“And now, here’s what I’m going to do: I’m going to start all over again. I’m taking her back out into the wilderness where we had our first date, and I’ll court her. I’ll give her bouquets of roses. I’ll turn Heartbreak Valley into Acres of Hope. She’ll respond like she did as a young girl, those days when she was fresh out of Egypt."
(Hosea 2:14-15 MSG)
Verse 14 starts with 'and now'. This is so amazing, because it shows us that the mess and chaos isn't the end of the story! God promises to start all over again and that he will wipe the slate completely clean. Even better than that, He promises to turn 'Heartbreak Valley', or as another translation puts it 'the valley of troubles', into 'Acres of Hope'.
The imagery here is so beautiful - acres of hope sounds pretty amazing to me, like a spacious, restful and peaceful place of hope. This doesn't necessarily mean that our lives will look exactly how we think they might, but it does mean that we can live totally secure in the truth that God is perfect love, he has good plans for our lives and he can turn the worst of situations around in miraculous ways.
He can turn heartbreak into hope and trouble into triumph.
No matter what we've done, or how long it's been since we last truly embraced the love that God has for us, we can start all over again with him. He promises to forgive us and remember our sins no more.
No matter what strategies we implement to try to get our lives back on track, there is only one place for us to go where we will have a truly fresh start: God. Refocusing on him and trusting him with today is the only way to ultimately reset our lives. So whether it is the first time we've ever done this, or if it's been a while since we last the time, let's run into God's arms today. We can all have our 'and now' moments - God's arms are open wide, ready and waiting for you today, tomorrow and forever.
Emma graduated from Cambridge 4 years ago, and now works in Finance. She said ‘I Do’ to the wonderful Luke in April 2014 and loves being part of Team Pendlebury! Emma's other passions include leading music at Christ Church Cambridge, doing Pilates & eating salted caramel ice cream! She is so loving seeing God use More Precious to grow his kingdom.