Do you have a wanderer in your family? Are there times when you've owned a pet that had a tendency to get outside and then wander off? Or a toddler that was easily distracted and would wander in a store?
Right now, I have both of those. Our dog, Belle, is a great dog and most of the time stays within the confines of our yard. As the sights and smells of late winter and early spring have become more evident, she has started to wander away and sometimes gets as far as the neighborhood behind ours. Our son, Will, is a curious and busy boy. Wherever you are with him, he can move from a place of safety to a place of danger within seconds. In both cases, we are always trying to do our very best to provide boundaries and a safe place for both Belle and Will.
So this morning, I began to reflect on their wandering ways and how I can identify with them. These words from a favorite hymn, Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing, resonate with me:
O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I'm constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, 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.
God has created a place of safety for us within His Word. God's commandments are designed to protect us, not restrict us. God gives us the good gifts of mercy, grace and forgiveness to remind us to stay near. God pours His love on us and draws us deep into His family, and yet ... Sometimes my heart still wanders.
The opening verses of Psalm 103 provide a key to keep my wandering heart close to God:
Praise the LORD, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the LORD, my soul, and forget not all his benefits. Psalm 103:1-2 NIV
When I want to wander, the verses that follow Psalm 103:1-2 list even more reasons to praise and thank God:
Who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's. Psalm 103:3-5
Prayer for Today
Gracious God, Thank you that you have given us such a long list of benefits for which to praise you. Settle our hearts in the safety of your home with faithfulness and contentment. In Jesus' Name, Amen.