“Therefore, behold, I will allure her, will bring her into the wilderness and speak comfort to her. I will give her her vineyards from there, and the Valley of Achor (Trouble) as a door of hope; she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth.” Hosea 2:14-15
Our daughter was married Friday. It was a beautiful wedding, held outdoors at our home farm. Her new husband is named Christian.
She was married once before, ten years ago, but that man was a broken and damaged person that sought to break and damage our daughter. She was hurt physically and emotionally. Needless to say, her mom and dad grieved for her. We watched over the subsequent years as she began to heal. She knew where to go . . . she came to the church that had nurtured her as a child. She began to serve again. She briefly directed the children’s choir. She served as a barista in the church fellowship cafe. And she began to sing again. She was a backup singer for the worship band. She began leading worship at one of our sister churches when their leader was on hiatus. She joined the team that went to weekly services at the retirement home and sang for them, playing her guitar. She told me that she loved to see the dementia patients begin to sing the old hymns, their memories briefly latching onto the familiar words. And she began singing solo on the worship team once a month. More than once I received calls from friends telling me how God used her to speak to them.
Meanwhile, we prayed for her. Her Dad asked the Father to send her a Christian husband. I, however, was afraid. I hate to admit that, but I was afraid for her. I prayed for healing and I prayed for provision and I prayed for her to grow in faith. But I didn’t ask for another husband. I was afraid of the Valley of Trouble.
A few weeks ago, I was asked to do an object lesson on the word “hope”. It was very simple, really. The curriculum said to wrap a pipe cleaner wire around a stick, to illustrate the Hebrew word tiqvah, which translates both “hope” and “cord”. Biblical hope means to bind yourself to God. Rahab bound a scarlet tiqvah in her window, trusting the promise of the Israeli spies to spare her and her family. (Joshua 2) Our sure tiqvah is in God, the One Who is limitless.
Today Great Holy Spirit reminded me of Hosea 2:14-15. The Valley of Achor is the place that Achan, who disobeyed God and stole from him, was stoned to death. The Valley of Achor was named that because Achan “troubled” Israel. Achan nearly derailed the conquest of the Promised Land. (Joshua 7)
But God. Don’t you love those words . . . But God. But God used Hosea to tell Israel He would open a door of hope there, in the Valley of Trouble.
This is a photo of my daughter, the bride, married to a good man who loves her. A gentle and practical man with life skills and a strong commitment to the marriage promises he made. His name is Christian. (When her Dad prayed for a Christian husband, God took the prayer literally.)
And she will sing there, in the Great Redeemer’s Door of Hope.