Seasons : Winter

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Winter is a season of barrenness. It can leave you feeling isolated and in want for comfort. It's this season of life that is the hardest. When discouragement is at its height and comfort seems at its furthest.

Hosea 2 has been a dear companion of mine in my own winters. A valuable source of comfort when I've felt alone, misunderstood, or hurting.

Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her. And there I will give her her vineyards and make the Valley of Achor a door of hope. And there she shall answer as in the days of her youth, as at the time when she came out of the land of Egypt.

And in that day, declares the Lord, you will call me ‘My Husband,’ and no longer will you call me ‘My Baal.’ For I will remove the names of the Baals from her mouth, and they shall be remembered by name no more. And I will make for them a covenant on that day with the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the creeping things of the ground. And I will abolish the bow, the sword, and war from the land, and I will make you lie down in safety. And I will betroth you to me forever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy. I will betroth you to me in faithfulness. And you shall know the Lord.

And in that day I will answer, declares the Lord, I will answer the heavens, and they shall answer the earth, and the earth shall answer the grain, the wine, and the oil, and they shall answer Jezreel, and I will sow her for myself in the land. And I will have mercy on No Mercy, and I will say to Not My People, ‘You are my people’; and he shall say, ‘You are my God.’
— Hoseas 2:14;23 (ESV)

Beginning in verse 14, there is a “wooing” of Israel; God is wanting to bring his children close to Him on a very personal level. Continuing on in the verse, although currently in a Valley of Achor (also known as “Valley of Trouble”), there is a door of hope in the future. Essentially, what this passage is saying is that God wants to bring you close to Him. In your valley of trouble and pain, show you there is hope before you. That the trouble won’t last forever.

Further in verse 16, there is a transition between the levels of relationship. Again noting a more personal level, God wants you to no longer see Him as just a master, but as a “Husband.” This reiterates affection towards His people. We then see a key phrase mentioned three times in two verses, “I will betroth you.” When a phrase or word is mentioned multiple times in a short span, it means it’s very important to understand what’s being said. God wants to make sure we know the importance of His covenant and restoring love.

The chapter ends with a confirmation that He will show love to us, even if we may feel unloved. To the person feeling lonely and forgotten, these words are soothing to the soul.

In your winter, know that you are there for a purpose. God may be bringing you into the wilderness so that you might know Him more intimately and that your relationship would be strengthened. Know, also, that you won't be there forever--there is a door of hope ahead!

Your winter will be challenging but there is so much value in it. So much purpose. Don't give up in your valley of trouble but keep moving forward towards that door of hope and seek an intimacy with God you've never experienced before.

Winter won't last forever. Spring is coming.