Bible Studies for Life Lesson for February 6- God Loves the Unlovely
January 21 2011 by Joel Stephens, pastor, Westfield Baptist Church

Focal Passage: Hosea 1:2-9; 3:1-5  

It wasn’t the first time I had said that I was going to “run away from home;” but it was the first time I actually did it. I was 7 years old; practically an adult. And I was sure my parents’ archaic rules were infringing on my rights.

Who were they to tell me that I had to clean my room or eat my vegetables? After all, if it was my room, why couldn’t I choose to leave it be? If they were my vegetables, why couldn’t I feed them to the dog?

I was fed up with it. I packed my lunchbox and hit the road. It was exhilarating. I was free. I traveled a full tenth of a mile to one of our barns and established my new home.

No rules. No baths. No green beans. What could be better?

It’s amazing how lonely one gets when the thrill passes.

I don’t know how long I was out there; no more than an hour, I’d guess.

But it seemed like a week.

Suffice it to say that I had enough time to think through the situation. My animal crackers were almost gone. My juice supply had dried up. I had no bed, no clothes, no bathroom, and — worst of all — I was alone.

And that’s the part that I was sure couldn’t be fixed. After what I’d done and said, I was sure my mom wouldn’t ever let me back in that house. I had burned the most important bridge in my life.

Idiocy is hard to accept, even when you’re 7.

My regret began to grow into a mountain. That’s when I heard the sound of crunching gravel. It was the most beautiful sound I’d ever heard.

Hope sprang up in me that I still can’t describe. And, sure enough, as I peered around the corner of the barn, there she was. My mom had come looking for me!

Our reunion was all hugs and tears: her hugs came after my tears. The rules hadn’t changed about the room or the vegetables. Discipline was certain. But at least I was going home again.

Have you run away from your spiritual home? Has reality set in yet? Has loneliness begun to tighten around your heart?

If so, listen carefully and you will hear the sound of gravel crunching under God’s feet. He’s come to bring you home again.

His rules are unbending; but His love is unending. Listen with your heart. Hear Him saying, “Are you ready to come back home?” 

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1/21/2011 7:49:00 AM by Joel Stephens, pastor, Westfield Baptist Church | with 0 comments

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