I will block her path with thornbushes; I will wall her in so that she cannot find her way. Hosea 2:6
Recently, I turned my next manuscript into the pub house editor. The story includes a scene where the characters are winding their way along a wooded path and come upon a patch of muddy water with little to no room to traverse either side.
If they’d known about the obstacle, they might have chosen to forego what was intended to be a trouble-free stroll. Because we want—dare I say demand—to get from point A to B without obstruction.
What’s a prayer gathering without the petition … “Lord, please let everything go smoothly.”
But what if we asked God to block our path with thornbushes? To wall us in so we can’t get to the things that promise—but don't deliver—satisfaction?
When we give our devotion to idols—known and unknown—God rightfully places thornbushes in our footpath to redirect our steps. He knows when we’re chasing after something or someone we’re convinced will be fulfilling or we've come to believe we can't live without.
In the ache for eternity God has placed in the fabric of creation, we are prone to cuddle up to substitute gods. The final victory over sin and death is coming (Revelation 22:12, 20), but in the waiting, endless alternatives are right within our grasp.
Thornbushes are barriers—physical, mental, spiritual—God uses to stop our foolish pursuits in the wrong direction. Those prickly aggravations are evidence of his loving protection.
He is our faithful Bridegroom.. (Matthew 25:1, 5)
But like Hosea's wandering, rebellious wife Gomer, we insist on other "lovers", despite God's lavish, unwavering offer of unconditional love.
Strategically placed thornbushes are also intended to correct our faulty thinking. They're a redemptive blessing to the wise and humble.
She [Gomer] will chase after her lovers but not catch them; she will look for them but not find them. Then she will say, 'I will go back to my husband as at first, for then I was better off than now'. Hosea 2:7
It wasn't God's desire for us to deal with thorns and thistles, but our sin cursed the ground. (Genesis 3:17-18) The King of Kings was crowned in thorns, a poignant visual of our need for his blood sacrifice.
Oh the irony!
Take time to thank God for the thornbushes he’s placed in your path and ask him to give you a heart that responds to his loving pursuit.
Points to Ponder
1. What corrective thornbushes have you encountered?
2. When have you asked God to block your path or wall you in?
3. What practical steps can you take to give your heart fully to the Bridegroom?
Thanks for reading!
If you were inspired by today's post and know others who would enjoy it, I'd be super grateful if you'd share.
1. Sweeter with You—book 2 in The Heart of Moreland Manor series (Elk Lake Publishing, Inc.) is out now and has received favorable reviews. Amen!
2. A Steel Rose* is Book 3 in a multi-author project set in the fictional town of Wild Rose Ridge. It's available for PRE_ORDER! I'd appreciate your support leading up to its release on March 28th. You won't want to miss any of the titles in this contemporary romance series!
*To follow the journey, meet the other authors, and get in on updates on upcoming releases, come join our Wild Rose Ridge Readers 🌹 Facebook group.
Until next time,
MARY'S FICTION SHELF
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✏️ This I Promise You (Gardenia Press)
Prequel to The Heart of Moreland Manor series.
What if finding your heart's desire means entrusting it ... just once more ... to the one who broke it?
Book #1 in The Heart of Moreland Manor series.
What if you didn't want your inheritance but it led to your greatest dream?
Book #2 in The Heart of Moreland Manor series.
What if your greatest dream was realized in letting it go?
MARY'S DEVOTIONAL SHELF
✏️What the Morning Brings: 52 Inspirational Story-Style Devotions (Gardenia Press)
A tool to help develop the practice of asking, "What truth did the morning bring?" Perfect for those who want a breezy but soul-stirring message to jump start their day.