November 13, 2011

Bind my wandering heart to Thee

This has been a bit of an emotional weekend for me. Earlier this week I found out that a couple we were friends with in Bible College are separated. The husband walked out on his wife (Bethany) after at least 8 years of marriage (It might be more but I am actually not sure how long they were married for before we met them. They have 3 children, twin girls and a boy and he's left them for another woman.

Over the weekend another friend from Bible College told me that a another couple we were friends with there is now divorced and that although her marriage is good she and her husband no longer have any interest in God.

It just breaks my heart to hear all of this. It was a year and a month ago that another affair that changed everything in our lives and especially in the lives so of two couples very close to us, so this all seems like a new wound on a still painful area.

In church today one of the songs we sang was the old hymn "Come Thou Fount of Every Blesssing" and one verse says:

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.

Growing up in church the words are not new to me and it isn't like this is the first time that particular verse has stood out to me either, but today they jumped out even more. Just reflecting on these three couples we spend 2 years studying God's word with and seeing the pain in their lives now and the choices they have made. Choices than any one of us could make tomorrow if we don't guard our hearts and minds today.

How important is it then for us to not only be going to the Lord daily and not take our eyes off of Him, but to be keeping each other accountable in these things. Once again that is nothing new, everyone always talks about how important accountability is, but really do we listen, do we really really listen? and are we the kind of friends who would risk or friendships to confront each other about things in each others lives? That is something I've had to think on a lot in the last couple months. Are we so worried about offending the people we love that we ignore or don't talk about the things we should? I have been guilty of that so many times, I often forget that if I really care about them I will risk our friendship for their sake:
Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy. - Proverbs 27:6

And another thought I had was maybe it's good to have people who aren't close friends, or at least are not our peers, keeping us accountable. People who aren't going to be worried about offend us or ruining any friendships who can ask us on a regular basis how things are going and who can watch us and call us out if things don't look right. Isn't that what the body of Christ is supposed to do anyways?

If so man people who have had such great relationships with God and devoted so much of their lives to him, missionaries, pastors, elders, and others can stray so far away then every one of us is in danger of the same. Bad choices, tragedy, burnout, so many things can cause us to turn away from the God we love.

That was my ramblings for the week.

PS. Please pray for my friend Bethany who I mentioned at the beginning of this post. She is asking for prayer that God will break Ben(her husband)'s heart and bring him back to his family and her. I know he can do it, I watched Him do it last year.

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