Hosea was no stranger to forgiveness. His relationship with Gomer was full of ups and downs that demanded that Hosea learn how to forgive as God forgave. Hosea and Gomer’s story is a great reminder about the beautiful nature of God’s forgiving attitude towards us. It is so easy for us to get caught up in the perfectionism that society demands of us: perfect grades, perfect body, perfect job, perfect family… When it comes to our relationship with God, we have to remember that perfection is not something that is demanded of us. Yes, we are to strive to live our lives for Jesus as best we can, but He isn’t expecting us to get it right all the time. Just like Hosea, Jesus forgives our mistakes and takes us back with open arms, full of love and grace. Isn’t that liberating?!?
There are countless times where I have stressed out about an essay, exam, or job application - I was obsessed with getting it just right, and I wasn’t settling for anything less than perfection. The problem was that all that stress completely robbed me of any joy I could have gleaned from the process. The good news is that our relationship with Jesus isn’t like that! We don’t have to be stressed about whether or not we are good enough, or whether or not God will forgive us when we make mistakes - we can trust in the fact that he will always “receive us graciously” (verse 2). There is so much joy in a relationship with Jesus Christ! During Lent this year, remember that God is a god of love and forgiveness, and he will always be there to catch you when you fall.