“find what’s real in a world of fake . . . ”
What does your heart most long to hear? To feel? To know? What masquerades as your dreams come true, but sadly leaves you empty, more wounded than strengthened, more bewildered than thriving? What is real and trustworthy? What is fake and fading?
Micah Berteau tackles these questions and more in his new book, Love Changes Everything. He suggests that our hearts ache for love, true love that never disappoints, that can only come from the One who created us. He sets out to dig deep into the Old Testament story of Hosea and his wife Gomer to display the extravagant love of GOD toward us!
I have a special place in my heart for the story of Hosea and Gomer, so I was eager to dive into a full book devoted to unpacking the intricate details, from heartbreaking to heartwarming! I confess that I was disappointed to find less of their story than I had hoped.
Love Changes Everything is not the deep dive I was anxious to process. Rather, Micah uses the story of Hosea’s love for his straying wife, Gomer, to set the stage for his own reflections about all that attracts only to disappoint us in this world. He makes many valid points, offering food for deep thought, about the false and deceptive attractions and distractions that lead us astray (as Gomer sadly discovered). And he does describe in detail the love of GOD (Father, Son and Holy Spirit), demonstrated through Hosea’s actions, that is like no other!
A few of Micah’s chapters touch on the details of the story of Hosea and Gomer I was hoping to find. Chapter 8 beautifully describes how Hosea’s “love that finds and fixes” (p.111) is a powerful picture of our Savior’s love for us! He came to save us long before we were looking for His rescue. He stepped in to do for us what we were incapable of doing for ourselves – at great cost to Himself. He longs for nothing less than reclaiming us as His own, taking us by the hand and leading us to the security of the Home He has prepared for us!
In chapter 9, Micah delves into the changes that needed to happen in Gomer’s life as she returned home with her husband, the one who had paid the price to set her free from bondage to a life with empty promises, a life that left her more broken than whole. He talks about “love that corrects” (p. 121). The LORD often pursues our hearts in the same way. He loves us too much to leave us broken. Sometimes we need boundaries and limits, or a stern “NO,” in order to learn healthier patterns and choices, in order to move our hearts to desire what honors and pleases Him. That process can feel like “tough love” but is correction that comes from a place of true love. A lasting love that will never leave us! A love that will lead us to wholeness and peace.
And in chapter 10, Micah describes the vulnerable but broken-beautiful place of Gomer being “unmasked and undone” (p. 131), initially exposed and uncomfortable, but brought to a place where deep healing could begin. It is touching to read Micah’s thoughts about the only real response to real love, that of devotion to the one who has given so much, invested so much, sacrificed so much! He urges us to realize that our true and good and right response to our Savior should be nothing short of “JESUS over everything” (p. 135). Should we not devote all of ourselves to the One who has given all for us?
Although Love Changes Everything was not the detailed study of Hosea and Gomer I had hoped for, I am grateful for Micah’s description of the love of GOD. For the reminder that my Savior pursues my own heart, that His is a love that will teach me and grow me, fill me and know me, hold me and show me the right path to follow. Chasing after His heart is my best and only option. Because His is the LOVE that changes everything!
Love Changes Everything by Micah Berteau is published by Revell Books and is available wherever books are sold.
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