Journaling, Spiritual Growth

Here’s My Heart 

I’ve always loved the hymn “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing.” Maybe because I see all too often my own wandering heart despite my desire to have it bound to Christ. However, only recently have I really come to appreciate the deep theology tucked within the lyrics penned by Robert Robinson (1735-1790).

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.

2. Here I raise mine Ebenezer;
hither by thy help I’m 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.

3. 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.

Jesus sought me when a stranger, 
wandering from the fold of God; 

He is El Roi. He sees. He sees a stranger running from His heart. He sees His child running from his/her calling. He sees. And He seeks. Is there anything more special than being sought out by the Creator of the Universe? Being sought out by the One who sits at God’s right. Being sought by the One who spilt blood so we could be found by Him – so we could be near Him – desired by Him – held close to Him.

Here I raise mine Ebenezer; 
hither by thy help I’m come; 

1 Samuel 7 chronicles the story of a crisis where the Israelites were threatened by the Philistines. Samuel tells them, “If you are returning to the LORD with all your hearts, then rid yourselves of the foreign gods…and commit yourselves to the LORD and serve Him only, and He will deliver you.” (7:3) The Israelites turned their backs to their idols and looked towards the One True God and Samuel interceded for their deliverance before the Lord. As the Philistines drew near to engage in battle, the Lord answered Samuel by sending loud thunder from the heavens to rescue the Israelites.

Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, ‘Thus far the LORD has helped us.’ (1 Samuel 7:12)

“Ebenezer” means Stone of Help. Samuel honored God by raising up a stone of remembrance and declaring God their help and salvation. ‘Thus far the LORD (had) helped (them).” He hadn’t let them down. He is faithful in the past, in the present, and in the future.

I got to thinking about the concept of rocks.

Sometimes we’d rather throw rocks. We’d rather heap stones in some misguided sense of righteousness which looks a whole lot like a bunch of filthy rags.

Rarely do we hold up our Rocks of Help and declare it was the Rock of Ages who has helped us. Rarely do we keep track of these rocks of help – these evidences of God’s faithfulness – these proofs of His Presence and help in our times of need.

If we stack these rocks of remembrance around us – surrounding us with memories of God’s proven faithfulness in our lives, perhaps our hearts would be less prone to wander. Less prone to doubt His goodness.

The constant reminder of His faithfulness may tune our once misguided hearts to sing His Praise because we now see – we are now aware – of how Good He’s always been.

These journal pages are my Ebenezer stones. Each page holds instances of His ever faithfulness to me.  

Pages upon pages of how He is faithful, more faithful than I deserve. Pages of His enduring patience and love, even when I’m on my own last nerve and weary of myself.

These are my rocks, my words. These are my Holy Reminders, all my journals. Even the 48 letters I wrote to Hawk while he was deployed are my stones. Because each page holds the truth of where my help comes from. My help comes from the Lord. And how He carried us through a difficult season. How He held me as we walked though a “never” of mine. These are my rocks. These are my chronicles of rememberance – lest I be so easily tempted to think my help came from myself.

These rocks?

They were created to sing His praise.

streams of mercy, never ceasing, 
call for songs of loudest praise. 

I wonder how they groan when we raise praise and declare anyone other than God our deliverer. Our God is worthy of all praise. If we keep quiet, if we refuse to acknowledge the real Rock of Ages, “even the stones will cry out” with praise to the King (Luke 19:40). They won’t be able to contain themselves.

 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.

He is a God who helps. Helps us when we need it – and helps even when we don’t see our need for help. He saves us from ourselves. He saves me from the wretchedness of me.

“You are my Lord; I have no good apart from You” (Psalm 16:2).

“I am unworthy of all the kindness and faithfulness You have shown Your servant” (Genesis 32:10).

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. 

Like Jacob, who wrestled with God, I want to grab hold of Jesus. I want to cling to Him. I want to not let go of Him until He’s blessed me, until He’s changed me. I want to always “remain” with my Jesus – no longer prone to leaving His heart, no longer prone to wander from His Presence- because I’m attached to Him – because my heart is sealed in His own. (Genesis 32:26).

I want the Presence of God Himself, or I want nothing at all. – A.W. Tozer

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