“Come, let us return to the Lord;
for he has torn us, that he may heal us;
he has struck us down, and he will bind us up. (Hosea 6:1 ESV)
It is comforting to know that our suffering, though it be brought on by our own sin, can be God’s way of drawing us back to him for help. As Gomer (Hosea’s harlot wife) lost all of her good things when out cavorting with her lovers, she remembered that things we better back with her husband. Granted, she thought she was settling for something less because she was still crediting all of her good things as having come from her lovers. Hosea was then instructed to woo her back, perhaps to show her that all of her good things were really from him and not her lovers.
When I find myself convicted over a particular sin, I tend to heap guilt on myself and attribute my poor lot to my own doing. I tend to think that the Lord wants nothing to do with such a sinner as I. But this book teaches me that my suffering is God’s way of getting my attention and drawing me back. This is not to say that my suffering isn’t a result of my sin, but it is not punitive in nature. It is discipline. It is meant to draw me back to the Lord and begin the healing process, to learn again of the steadfast love of the Lord.