Many versions of Beauty and the Beast tell a story of about two lovers, one of them positioned with privilege, riches or beauty, the other—a beast, a toad, a criminal, a prostitute, poor, ugly, forsaken.
This is your story, too. God writes it. More than that, God stars in this story.
He is the privileged one. He holds the riches of the world in his hands. He is the ultimate provider and protector. Beautiful. Perfect.
You are the forgotten one. Lonely. But more than that. Unfaithful.
It’s true of all people. We have forgotten God. But even worse, we have cheated on him. We’ve fallen for other lovers, and committed what God describes as spiritual adultery.
So, much worse than simply being unattractive to the world’s most charming and fulfilling lover (God), he has given his love to us and we have rejected it. And him. We have preferred other loves.
God speaks about people who have known his love, but left him for someone or something else, “Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the wilderness and speak tenderly to her” (Hosea 2:14).
He still wants you back! He doesn’t move on. He doesn’t come to realize what a bad idea this really is. He doesn’t give up on you. He speaks about you and others who have known but spurned his love as his lover. His bride.
And God woos you. But where? Into the wilderness. This is a special, divine honeymoon where God wants to remove all the distractions so that you can focus on each other. It might hurt some, because he’ll direct you to put down your false securities, your neediness, your search for happiness without him in places or people that provide you pleasure.
And then, will he lecture you? Get you alone in a room under the spotlight for a hellish interrogation? No. He will speak tenderly.
“Oh, my dear one, why did you leave? I’m so glad you’re back. I love you so much. I forgive you. I am yours, and you are mine. Let’s spend our lives together. Forever. I will take care of you. I will bless and keep you. Trust me. Love me.”
“I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion. I will betroth you in faithfulness, and you will acknowledge the Lord” (Hosea 2:19,20).
PRAYER: Dear faithful Love, my forgiving God, I do love you. I’m sorry for loving others instead of you, believing in their empty promises. I’m sorry for loving myself in ways that make me my own god, which I cannot be. And you have taken me back! Promised me your love again. Help me to delight in you today. Amen.
FURTHER MEDITATION: Read and meditate on Hosea 2. God speaks directly and graphically of Israel’s unfaithfulness, which he describes a lewd adultery. This magnifies his concluding truth: I will take her back. I will re-marry her. What a gracious and merciful God! Say a prayer of thanks today, as God draws you close to his heart.