I had never stopped giving God thanks and praise in the “good” times. I had not proclaimed that I was responsible for my wealth or prosperity…but my heart became full of the wrong desires and plans. I became entirely too enticed by the world and its goods and I was not satisfied nor was I delighting myself in Him the way I used to. I had lost my first love.

Oh I knew it was happening inside, I knew that things were not the same inside me and I was counting on the truth of being kept by God, knowing and believing that I could not undo by my sin what He did by His grace and mercy. I was not intentionally wandering! And it made no difference Beloved. The dark restlessness of the soul in times of worldly trouble only served to create a heavier blanket of suffering.

I would cry out to God for help and rescue from my circumstances hating what I was slowly realizing was the cause of all of this. Wondering how this could have happened to someone like me (pride!) and wanting a way out, wanting to be able to fix it. Over time, we did but never so much that danger was not around the corner. Oh what lessons I learned in those bleak days! A war going on within me and outside I carried on my life, fulfilling my duties and meeting expectations. It was utter torment.

I cannot tell you exactly when it changed, when that smiting sensation was removed.

“But then I will win her back once again. I will lead her out into the desert and speak tenderly to her there. I will return her vineyards to her and transform the Valley of Trouble into a gateway of hope. She will give herself to me there, as she did long ago when she was young, when I freed her from her captivity in Egypt.
“In that coming day,” says the LORD, “you will call me ‘my husband’ instead of ‘my master.’ …I will make you my wife forever, showing you righteousness and justice, unfailing love and compassion. I will be faithful to you and make you mine, and you will finally know me as LORD. Hosea 2:14-16; 19-20 (New Living Translation)

I take great comfort in these verses and I want you to as well! “But then I will win her back once again” God says. He is gentle and loving and creates a desire and hunger within us as lovers feel for one another. Have you experienced that wooing of the Lord? His desire is that you want Him more than silver or gold, more than all the worthless treasures we sell ourselves to possess. He intends to win you back! That makes my head spin!

He could take us by force if He chose to, but He waits patiently for us to exhaust ourselves out there in the world and then He is always there to bring us home to Him.