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Bible Studies for Life Lesson for February 6: God Loves the Unlovely
Joel Stephens, pastor, Westfield Baptist Church
January 21, 2011
3 MIN READ TIME

Bible Studies for Life Lesson for February 6: God Loves the Unlovely

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

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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