As I looked up scriptures that talked about love, I came across Hosea 14:4 ‘I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him.’
I stared at it for a moment feeling overwhelmed at God’s love and mercy. None of us are perfect and we all fail at one point in life, but when you back-slide it’s different. It’s not just one sin, but multiple sins as we turn our backs to God refusing to acknowledge our faults. We start going the wrong way forgetting our commitment to God, and his price on Calvary. Then, we want to blame him for the pain we feel as if it were He who walked away. I know, I’ve been there. Perhaps you’ve been there, or know someone that’s there, if so I hope you read this.
Many times my mom would tell me, ‘God still loves you and is waiting for you’. It annoyed me to hear this because, I was too bitter to believe and didn’t care. I was hurting and feeling empty. I tried filling my emptiness with drugs and alcohol, looking for love in the wrong places. When I finally wanted to return to God, I felt filthy and unworthy. It took a lot from me to admit I was wrong, but even more to believe God truly forgave and loved me. How could he after all I’d done when backsliding? It’s like returning to your spouse, after walking out on your marriage, uncertain your spouse will take you back, or if the damage is repairable. Well guess what? This verse says he heals our backsliding! It really is a healing process, for my damage was more emotional than physical. It was difficult to believe God truly forgave and would take me back when I was struggling to forgive myself. Then, I read Isaiah 44:22 ”I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you.” Wow! I didn’t realize how poetic God is, but he has won me over.
If you are a returned back-slider, don’t be discouraged, we have a long way to go, but God is here healing our backsliding. On the other hand if you are debating to return, I will paraphrase my mom, ‘God loves you and is waiting for you’.