Hosea 1:2a – When the Lord first began speaking to Israel through Hosea, he said to him, "Go and marry a prostitute, so that some of her children will be conceived in prostitution." (NLT)
I stood with a bag of potatoes beside me, a knife in my hand, and what appeared like eternity in front of me.
Carpal tunnel surgery had not slowed my wife down much — and I was glad, since she was our cook at church for Wednesday night meals. Though I was prepared to fix the meal under her supervision, I got off with a lighter duty.
"How good are you at peeling potatoes?" she asked.
"Okay, I suppose," I answered, and took the knife that she handed me.
"Peel half of this bag."
When I finished peeling, she said, "Now, slice them and then dice them into small pieces so that they'll cook quickly."
The dish was simple. She was merely browning the potatoes and adding a little butter and other seasoning. Yet, almost an hour was spent getting ready to make the dish. Peeling and preparing potatoes can be a lengthy process.
Hosea was peeled like a potato. God's call to him involved marrying a prostitute — or a woman with promiscuous leanings — and having her bear him children through adulterous relationships. Seems like a strange plan, but his life episode was to "illustrate how Israel has acted like a prostitute by turning against the Lord and worshiping other gods." (Hosea 1:2b NLT)
God's plan often comes in layers like a sliced potato. He doesn't show us the entire schemata, just bits and pieces. Hosea's wife didn't stop with one promiscuous affair but continued until Hosea finally brought her home and confined her. My obedience to each stage of God's unfolding plan demonstrates my determination to do what He wants me to do — even if I can't see the end.
God's plan can be as painful as it was for Hosea and as it was for my back while I stood for an hour peeling. No spouse enjoys being the recipient of unfaithfulness. God often allowed His prophets to demonstrate their messages in graphic ways, and Hosea's aligned with the norm. Hosea hurt. Through pain, we grow spiritually and are drawn closer to our Creator.
God's plan will always entail change. Never can I stay where I am and go with God. The potato won't become a hash-brown casserole, French fries, or browned potatoes as long as it stays in its original state.
Regardless of the pain or the change required, let's determine to follow God's plan for our life.
Prayer: Father, give us the courage and faith that we need to say "Yes" to Your plan. Amen.
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