Day 17

Return to Your God

from the Hosea reading plan

Hosea 12:1-14, Psalm 135:13, Isaiah 63:11-14

BY Guest Writer

Text: Hosea 12:1-14, Psalm 135:13, Isaiah 63:11-14

I am a recent and reticent convert to hiking. Moving from the flat Midwest to a state of unending mountains, there is a certain peer pressure to become a more outdoorsy girl—the type who likes to hike. The problem is that hiking sounds wonderful to me in theory, but the reality of slowly trudging up and up and up is not always as fun.

So a couple hours into a spontaneous hike with my husband, I was ready to be done. Tired, hungry, and lost, it felt like we were getting nowhere and only increasing our chances of being eaten by a bear. Growing “hangrier” by the minute, I convinced my husband—at this point, probably more afraid of being eaten by me rather than a bear—to head back.

About 50 feet back down the worn path, a woman came walking in the direction we had just abandoned.

This woman had hiked these woods before and she knew the mountaintop was just out of sight, beyond the ridge. She assured us the view from there was absolutely breathtaking and worth every inch of hiking heartache. How could we give up now knowing we were so close?

Feeling a bit foolish, we did a 180-degree about-face, and with renewed hope in our step, we ascended to a clearing. Sitting in silence, staring out at mountains for miles, I realized what we would’ve missed if that woman had not encouraged us to keep going.

In our walk with God, it can be just as easy to get distracted, tired, and lost along the way.

Do you ever feel like you’ve drifted too far from God to ever come back? Maybe you’re lost in the forest and don’t know just how close the mountaintop really is.

The book of Hosea reminds us that even when we are unfaithful, God is faithful. Even when we’ve given up, God pursues us. Our God called Hosea to take up a prostitute as his wife and be relentlessly compassionate to her. This demonstrated God’s character and just how much He loved wayward Israel—how He loves us, too, rebellious sinners though we are.

God declares loud and clear that there is nothing you can do to lose the Father’s love (Romans 8:31-39).

It can be difficult for us to really grasp the unfailing love of God because it seems so counterintuitive to the way we operate out of our humanity. When we’re hurt, our instinct is often to hurt someone in return or withdraw our love altogether. When people disappoint us time and again, we start to give up on them. To think we can hurt and disappoint God endlessly, yet He still draws near to us, is unfathomable!

Our Lord isn’t some begrudging judge, waiting for us to shape up on our own. He comes to rescue us, helping us turn back to Him (Hosea 12:6). He is the loving Father, running unashamedly toward His prodigal child (Luke 15:20). He is the Good Shepherd who goes off in search of just one lost sheep (Luke 15:4).

Sometimes the climb is tedious and disheartening and downright painful. In those moments it’s tempting to give up and turn away. But what we might not be able to see through the trees is the most magnificent view up ahead: our gracious Father, extending His arms and calling us home.  


Kaitie Stoddard is a professional counselor who recently relocated from Chicago to Colorado with her husband. She has her Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology and is passionate about helping couples and families find healing in their relationships. Jesus dramatically changed her life in high school, giving her a heart for those who don’t yet know the love of Christ. On any given weekend you’re likely to find Katie snowboarding in the Rocky Mountains, checking out new restaurants with friends, or catching up on her favorite Netflix and podcast series.

Post Comments (87)

87 thoughts on "Return to Your God"

  1. Susan says:

    This scripture passage and Katie’s words had me in tears as I am realizing He is so faithful in my unfaithfulness. This is exactly what I needed to read before heading off to work! Thank you!

  2. Can you imagine what the Israelites felt as they stood staring out at the vast expanse of water? They probably couldn’t even see the other shore.
    I think we can all relate to looking out at our lives and wondering what the heck is going on. I often feel as though I maybe missed my moment, or that my life is just slowly trudging along with no direction. I can often forget that the shore on the other side of the water is filled with such love for me simply because I do not see it with my fleshly eyes.
    Lord, help me to remember how you walked your people through the waters, how you protected their every step and guided them the whole way out. Help me remember that you planned for them to go the way they went and that you knew exactly what was going to happen. Sometimes I forget that you guide all of us through our own seas. Your name is too honorable to let us down now. Thank you sweet Jesus.

  3. Paulina says:

    This is much after the post was originally posted, but this is exactly what I needed to hear today. God never gives up on me, even when I want to do my life without Him. He never turns His eyes away from me, even when I knowingly turn from Him. He is almighty, all-loving, and so nurturing. Thanks for another dose of daily truths, SRT!

  4. Dawn says:

    I am several days late reading this but it’s perfect timing. Needed to read this today… It’s around the corner, I’m gonna make it.

  5. Even when we are unfaithful God is still faithful! So thankful for this truth!!

  6. Bek says:

    wow. that was so well written… that story, such a perfect analogy. thank you!!

  7. Brittany louu says:

    My husband and I have been in this season of so much uncertainty for what feels like forever! I know God has a plan and a purpose for everything! Thank you for this encouraging message, to just keep going and allow Him to lead is through this time of life! The miracle could be around the corner!

  8. Ramona Osborn says:

    A few years ago, I moved from Illinois to the Grand Canyon, AZ. When I first viewed this Natural Wonder, my first thought was God spoke, and felt what an awesome God He is. Lately, I’ve felt like I have been lost in a deep wilderness with job changes, direction for my life, and not feeling good enough to others and God.

    I am writing this with tears and joy after reading your article. Thank you for pointing out that we do not have to shape up on our own and that God is actually running toward us with open arms. Thank God for his love that we can always be assured in.

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