It’s been a long week. I’m not sure why I am feeling overwhelmed right now, life has been going along as usual. Maybe it’s just because I’m human; I’m frail. I just…grow weary sometimes. My first mental reaction to such feelings is to quit. Quit homeschooling, quit blogging, quit friendships – basically, I feel like just quitting all the stuff except actual survival skills. You know, food, water, clothes.
However, I reasoned with myself and decided that perhaps I was overreacting to want to just throw in the towel. I got up and took one step and then another. I read my Bible, even though my faith was weak that it would help me. But what happened was like that story, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, one thing led to another. Reading my Bible made me think of someone else who was discouraged, and had every right to be so: David. I looked up the verse that came to mind. 1 Samuel 30:6 says, “And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.“ And then he prayed. Sounded like a plan. Reading the word of God and praying made me think of praising God. Praising God made me think of singing. Singing made me think of the great hymns of praise that have been written over the years. One of my favorites is “Come Thou Fount” by Robert Robinson, written in 1757. Our church just completed singing the hymns in the hymnbook in order. When we came to this one, our song leader shared that the version in our hymnbook is not the original version. There were more verses, and they were arranged differently. The actual song has a reference to God’s sovereign grace – in 1757! This was encouraging to my heart because so many friends and even some family members look at us sovereign grace BAPTISTS as being protestants or worse – heretics. I certainly can’t fight them, nor do I wish to, but I admit that it gets old being called names by adults.
Thinking about this hymn made me look up the original words and read them again. That encouraged me. My heart is prone to wander, I am truly, as the hymn says, “prone to leave the God I love”. But my salvation is not fixed upon my human heart or mind or even my own faith. My salvation, my faith, begins and ends with the God of all creation! He holds me, He loves me, He keeps me. Even if my father and mother forsake me, the Lord has promised to take me up. (Psalm 27:10). If the entire world should turn against me, the God of the universe will never do that. What more do I need?
Yes, I started out overwhelmed and discouraged, but I ended up thrilled and happy. What made the switch? The Lord of heaven.
Here are the original words to that lovely hymn, if you would also like a little encouragement this morning: (And who can resist singing them in your mind as you read them? Both the words and tune are beautiful.)
Come, Thou Fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
Sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount, I’m fixed upon it,
Mount of Thy redeeming love.
Sorrowing I shall be in spirit,
Till released from flesh and sin,
Yet from what I do inherit,
Here Thy praises I’ll begin;
Here I raise my Ebenezer;
Here by Thy great help I’ve come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed His precious blood;
How His kindness yet pursues me
Mortal tongue can never tell,
Clothed in flesh, till death shall loose me
I cannot proclaim it well.
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.
O that day when freed from sinning,
I shall see Thy lovely face;
Clothèd then in blood washed linen
How I’ll sing Thy sovereign grace;
Come, my Lord, no longer tarry,
Take my ransomed soul away;
Send thine angels now to carry
Me to realms of endless day.
Oh yes, the “realms of endless day”! Maybe I will go today? But if not, that is fine. To live is Christ, to die is gain. (Phil. 1:21)