Come, and let us return unto the Lord: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up.
Let’s return to the Lord. He has torn us to shreds, but he will bandage our wounds and make us well.Hosea 6:1 (KJV, CEV)
I don’t know about you, but I usually think of God as a “nice guy”: kind, loving, always healing and forgiving. But He’s not like that. I mean, He is!–but there’s another side to Him. A side we don’t necessarily enjoy.
God is somebody who, if He has to, will hurt you. If you walk away, don’t obey Him, refuse to repent…He might just have to start breaking you. How He does that will vary, but He will do it.
He’s not mean; He’s holy, can’t stand sin, and wants you to be His. If you sin and don’t repent (like Israel here in Hosea), He might tear you “to shreds.”
BUT (don’t you love that word?) if you do repent, He’ll heal you, bandage your wounds, forgive you. He’ll welcome you back.
Did you know that if a sheep keeps wandering away from the shepherd and the rest of the flock, the shepherd will break its leg? Ouch! The shepherd’s not being mean; he’s tired of the sheep’s straying and wants it to stay with him, and he’s trying to protect it from the dangers it’ll encounter if it goes off on its own. He breaks its leg to stop it.
And then you know what he does? He carries it until that leg heals (which is weeks). And I’m pretty sure sheep are not as light as a feather, especially if you have to lug them around all day.
Jesus is our Shepherd–the Good Shepherd. He doesn’t want us wandering away alone out in the dangerous world. He wants us to stay close to Him, where we can be protected and feed and loved. If He needs to, He will “break our leg.” And then He’ll carry us around, loving us as we heal. When it’s over, we’ll know Him so much better, be so much closer to Him.
He hurts us because He loves us. Wants the best for us. Desires us to live under His sheltering wings.
He has torn, but He will heal us and make us well. He has smitten and struck, but He will bandage our wounds.
So come. Let’s return to the Lord.
P.S. Maybe you’re going through a rough time and you’re being broken and you have no clue why! Maybe it’s not because of sin. God could be drawing you closer to Himself, making you stronger, showing you His greatness or faithfulness, teaching you to trust. Maybe you’re going through this because somebody else needs to see/hear your story (to be encouraged or inspired). You might never know exactly why! But God has a reason, so trust Him. Grow closer to Him. Praise Him even in the storm. And cling to the promise that “…he will bandage [your] wounds and make [you] well.”