“O to grace how great a debtor Daily I'm constrained to be Let that grace now, like a fetter Bind my wandering heart to Thee Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it Prone to leave the God I love Here's my heart, O take and seal it Seal it for Thy courts above.” (Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing, verse 3)
One of my first prayers as a believer was “God, I’m so faithless. Bind me to you. Don’t let me turn back. Keep us in relationship.” Each time I sang, “Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it. Prone to leave the God I love. Take my heart, O take and seal it. Seal it for Thy courts above,” it was my prayer.
Time passed in my Christian walk, and I became a missionary. Every home assignment I would hear people praise me and honor me and treat me as if I were holy.
Fast forward another 10 years, and one day I looked up from my morning Bible reading and asked, “What happened to my relationship with You, Lord? I’m a church-going, rule-follower, but the Fruit of the Spirit—what fruit of the Spirit? I’m unloving, sour, anxious, angry, critical, selfish, gossipy, mean and gluttonous. Here is your missionary.”
Thankfully, God is gentler, and more faithful, than we are on ourselves. He gently showed me that instead of the repentant prodigal, I had become the angry elder prodigal. God—in His wonderful, beautiful, generous FAITHFULNESS—began to guide me back. He didn’t just show me myself, in my ugliness, but began to bring people and events across my path to draw me to Himself: a testimony of missionary’s transformation; an unexpected invitation to a church retreat (and all expenses paid); good transforming materials and speakers…and His timing was incredible!
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it. Prone to wander into earning my salvation and not resting in Your grace. Prone to demanding fruit while working in my own strength. But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one. (2 Thessalonians 3:3, NIV)
God wooed me back into relationship and showered me with His love, love, love. This is a love available to each of us.
Warmly in Christ, Karen Kurth
For Reflection: “Praise the Lord, all nations! Extol Him, all peoples! For great is His steadfast love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord!” (Psalm 117, ESV)
When do you find yourself wandering?
How has God drawn you back to himself during those times?
Where are you at the moment, wandering from or drawing near to God? Take some time to write a psalm to God, listing all the ways He has been faithful to you.