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Prone to Wander

December 4, 2016

“Return of the Prodigal” by Guercino (1651), Wloclawek Diocesan Museum (PD-Art l PD-Old-100)

You number my wanderings;
Put my tears into Your bottle;
Are they not in Your book?
” (Ps. 56:8).

The old hymn “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” was penned by Robert Robinson before the American Revolution.  It contains the aching lyric, “Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love…”

The Bible speaks again and again of man’s wandering from the throne of God.  For having murdered his brother, Cain was made a vagabond on the earth (Gen. 4:12).  Hagar was sent to wander in the wilderness by Abraham (Gen. 21:14), at Sarah’s jealous urging (Gen. 21:10).  Israel was caused to wander for forty years in the desert, for having offended God by little faith (Num. 32: 13).  The Book of Job and Book of Psalms both characterize the wicked as wandering about in search of food (Job 15:23; Ps. 59:15).

Some four thousand years later, this flesh of ours longs to wander still.  We wander from the Commandments for many reasons.  We may seek novelty or adventure.  We may be angry with God for some event in our lives.  Perhaps the Word seems dry.

Whatever the reason, we convince ourselves that our motives are pure, drawn all the while toward temptations of which we have been forewarned.  We persuade ourselves we are the exception to a rule made for others, yet are overcome by emotions we should instead rein in.

And we make the same mistakes, over and over.

The more we come to know and love God, the more painful the wandering.  Like Cain, we are lost without God.  But like Hagar, we are never lost to God.  The desert is full of lessons for us, as it was for Israel.  Not the least of these is the Father’s forgiveness for the prodigal son (Luke 15:21-24).

The fatted calf awaits us.  Prodigals all, He will bring us home…where we will rest from wandering, and gladly stray no more.

Originally posted 5/1/12


From → Christian, Faith, Religion

  1. great information and encouragement thank you

  2. gadolelohai permalink

    GOD keep me away from wandering

  3. Anna, this is so true. I think that down in our hearts we know that this world is not our home. Even Abraham after obeying God and finding “the Promised Land,” was not satisfied because he was searching for that “city whose Builder and Maker is God” which is founded on Christ and it is not physically on this earth. We are born of the Spirit so we can hear His voice and feel His love for us and be drawn up into that heavenly realm in our daily lives down here and bring a bit of that heaven back down to the earth and give others the same love and hope.

    Love you, dear sister!

  4. Anna,this wonderful post brings to light the fact that we have a unique ability not seen in any of God’s creation outside of man. That being the ability to convince ourselves that what we know to be dangerous,we can handle it nonetheless,and are thus drawn to it as moths to the flame.

    Wanderers all,we are never satisfied unless we are pushing the envelope. All the while,the Father patiently waits for our inevitable return where we will find that much needed respite from the world.

    Very thoughtful and encouraging post my friend. One I will likely read again and again.

    • You are always so kind, Ron. 🙂 But you give me too much credit, my friend. The post is, more than anything, a reflection on my own sinful nature. Thankfully, the Lord welcomes us home after we have strayed.

      • I’m right there with you my friend. Every single time He has welcomed me home with open arms. We are blessed to belong to One so loving.

  5. Oh Anna, it’s as though you wrote this just for me! Not that I’ve been wandering, particularly–I’m too depressed to move very far, haha! I love that God saves our tears in His bottle–thanks for that reminder; and that hymn is one of my faves–powerful, fills my heart UP, so I think I’d better post a YouTube version. Thanks for everything–God bless you so much! ❤

    • I am so glad, Stella. Yes, the Lord knows what we have suffered. He collects every tear. Only He can restore what was taken from us, and make us whole again. ❤

      • Yes, indeed…and I’m beginning to think that for some of us that restoration will not come till we’re Home with Him. I hope you’ll see my post which features you as a “blog angel” 🙂 I wanted to use “Come Thou Fount”, so rather than reblog your posts, I linked to you ❤

      • Thank you, Stella. I trust and pray that God will uphold you, despite all you have been through. “We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed — always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body” (2 Cor. 4: 8-10). ❤

      • Oh my, what a wonderful reminder verse for me today–thank you so much! You are a continual blessing, a true “blog angel” ❤

  6. Shattered in Him permalink

    “Prodigals all, He will bring us home…where we will rest from wandering, and gladly stray no more.”

    Love that thought!!!

  7. oldpoet56 permalink

    Very good article, it is a good read. I am going to reblog this one for you, hopefully this will send a few more readers your direction.

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