Bind My Wandering Heart to Thee

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“Always hopeful, yet discontent.”- a line from the epic Tom Sawyer by Rush

“Take your son, your only son—yes, Isaac, whom you love so much—and go to the land of Moriah. Go and sacrifice him as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, which I will show you.” (Genesis 22:2)

You remember how the story turns out. God stops Abraham just as he holds the knife ready to strike his son.

I wonder what they talked about on that long road trip to the mountain? Probably a very different conversation walking downhill, back to a different kind of relationship.

Did God need to learn something he didn’t know or did Abraham need to prove to himself (and his son) that the promise from God would never become bigger than God himself?

I want so much. There’s always the danger of wanting something other than God.

Can you imagine Abraham watching Isaac growing up and all the dreams he shapes around his future? And then God calls out of the deep.

Sometimes I pray for God to slay my hopes and dreams. They are too painful to bear when I watch them crash and burn. I am afraid. Fearful that I want what I think God has promised more than I want God himself. There’s always that danger that they will become an Isaac to me. Not a chance to declare his purpose and glory to all who see, but just another opportunity for me to prove something to myself and others.

What will He ask me to do? How will He awaken me to see that He is of more value than anything I could hope or dream?

 “For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.” – Philippians 2:13

I am not alone in my efforts to distinguish between the gift and the giver. His Spirit is working within me, leading me up that mountain of revelation. He wants me to see for myself that He is the true delight of my heart. It’s one thing to say this, it’s another to actually seek it. Abraham worshipped God while he cherished Isaac. I worship God and pray to him all day, but the desire of my heart is typically for earthly and mundane hopes. My soul is torn between desires.

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.

– Robert Robinson, Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing

What a conversation Abraham and Isaac surely had scaling back down Mount Moriah. Isaac must have gotten a whole college degree learning about faith from his father on that trip.  I wonder what I will learn as I walk back down the mountain with my Isaac (dream), back toward the God I love.

“I wish you to know that you have been the last dream of my soul.”   – Charles Dickens

Just Three Things

I saw this again the other day….

They say a person needs just three things to be truly happy in this world; someone to love, something to do, and something to hope for.

I think I’ve seen it three times in the past few months. It keeps popping up. It must resonate with me for some reason.

  1. Who do you love right this minute? Ever made a list before? Are you certain to tell them, over and over again, before it’s too late?
  2. What is it that you’re doing these days that really matters most to you? To others? To the bigger picture?
  3. Where are your hopes and dreams? Not buried out in the backyard anymore! Are they right in front of you, inspiring you to take one more step? Have they been stolen by the Wicked Witch?

Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.  Proverbs 4:23

That means what you’re thinking, how you really feel, and all those pesky worries that keep eating away at your resolve. Guard your mind, your spirit, your smile, your friendships, your prayers (remember to pray for your enemies), your idle thoughts and your past that’s been washed away. Guard your heart from what’s not true. Guard your today from what can’t be changed and what hasn’t even happened yet. Guard what’s real from all the overblown imagination that plays havoc with your dreams and interactions.

Find something eternal to rest your hopes upon, keep yourself busy doing things that really matter and then love people (no matter what you get back).

“Nothing is permanent in this wicked world – not even our troubles.” – Charlie Chaplin

(I think this template is hard to read, what do you think?)