Redeeming Love

“I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you." ~ Isaiah 44:22

Have you ever read a book that truly spoke to you?  That’s what happened when I read Francine Rivers’ Redeeming Love about ten years ago in 2006.  I’m not much on reading romance novels, but this book came highly recommended by just about everyone who’d read it. Now, it is on my “Top 10” list as well.  What is so intriguing about this book is the way in which Francine Rivers writes. She takes a Biblical story and modernizes it with new characters and settings, but leaves a similar turn of events that mirrors the familiar Bible story.

I won’t spoil it for you, but I will tell you that Redeeming Love is derived from the story of Hosea and Gomer.  With some creative liberties, Rivers embellishes Hosea’s story and sets it in the 1850s during the California Gold Rush.  She hones in on Hosea’s relationship with Gomer, a promiscuous woman that God calls Hosea to marry.  God’s desire to have a personal relationship with us, despite our “adulterous” ways (idolatry) is paralleled in the novel through human love, forgiveness, and redemption.  Angel (the Gomer character) has a hard time accepting and believing that Michael (the Hosea character) really loves her and has forgiven her past mistakes.

I remember sitting on the couch, nose in the book, heaving with emotion as I turned the pages.  Chris looked over and noticed my disheveled state so he asked why I was so upset.  Through my tears I said, “I wish she would just accept his love!  Why can’t she just believe that he loves her?  He really has forgiven her but she just can’t believe it.”  Without missing a beat, Chris said, “We do that with God, too.  He keeps telling us that He loves us and forgives us, but we don’t fully believe him all of the time.”  His words resonated with me.  I’d been so caught up in the love story and finding the parallels that I missed the big picture.  Well... then I just cried harder.

What a beautiful picture of redemption we have right here in real life.  This type of storybook love isn’t fictitious.  It is real and only comes from Jesus.  I was so touched by this theme of redemption through Jesus that I wrote a song/poem as a way to process what God was showing me through this novel.  The song describes a person’s internal struggle and eventual response to Jesus’ gentle call.  My favorite aspect of the song is the way it progresses from a song of defeat into a song of redemption.   The speaker stops pushing Him away, starts drawing closer to Jesus, and finally decides to accept His redeeming love.   Just like the novel, the song, and Gomer’s story, Jesus can redeem us, no matter what we’ve been through, what we’ve done, or where we find ourselves.  Though we mess up on a daily basis He seeks us out.  Despite all of the clutter from our own insecurities and limited understandings He can “make room” in our hearts.  He gives us choice.  Let’s choose to accept Him, His love, and the grace He brings.  Now that’s what I call “redeeming love.”

Morgan Blanton

Verse 1

Looking back at my life,

I’m so ashamed

My heart is filled with so much sin,

And too much pain

You wouldn’t want me, Lord,

If You knew all I’ve done

I’ve made a life without You

Father, Spirit, Son

 

Chorus 1

There’s no room

In this place

Lord I know I don’t deserve Your grace

Have You seen my past?

Do You know my heart?

It’s too late for a brand new start

There’s no room

 

Verse 2

I’ve heard about You, Lord

And all that you’ve done

You sent someone to save me

Your one and only Son

And if it’s true, Oh Lord

That you make all things new

Come alive in me

I give my life to You

 

Chorus 2

Please make room

In this place

Even though I don’t deserve Your grace

You’ve seen my past

And You know my heart

Lord please help me make a brand new start

Please make room

  Verse 3

You’ve brought me to my knees

And asked me to stay

You whisper in my ear

“Child, I am the Way”

I feel Your presence, Lord

And I know You are near

Your grace fulfills me,

You say “Child, I am here”

 

Chorus 3

And I’ll make room

In this place

Even though you don’t deserve My grace

Child, I’ve seen your past

And I know your heart

Let Me help you make a brand new start

I’ll make room

© Morgan Blanton 2006

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