Prone to Wander

You are my servant, I have chosen you and not cast you off; 10 fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Is 41:9-10

In returning and rest you shall be saved. In quietness and trust shall be your strength. But you said, “NO!” Isaiah 30:15-16

Dear friends,

In one of my earlier letters I confessed my anemic faith when I’m fettered to the dentist chair. You can read it here: Well, I guess I’m now obliged to admit to Sin 2.0.

Soon after my recent teeth cleaning I began to feel a bit of an ache in my upper left jaw. It becomes clear you have an issue when chewing is relegated to only one side. With much angst I was forced to make yet another dental appointment. As D-Day neared, my anguish heightened. Not only would a cavity extend my time in the detestable chair, unquestionably it would deepen the damage to my meager means. Folks on fixed incomes are acutely aware of unexpected expenses, you know. I attempted to cast my cares on my Father. The night before my fearful fate I wrote out Isaiah 41:9-10 and tucked the paper under my pillow. When I awakened at 2 a.m. to pee (seems a recurring appointment these days) I savored my Father’s promised presence before falling back to sleep. Fear not, for I am with you;…The next morning I stashed the now crumpled scripture in my pocketbook for easy access. Every stoplight en route to doom I raised my sword of Truth. Be not dismayed, for I AM with you. Before walking into the torture chamber I prayed the prophet Isaiah’s providential provision: I will strengthen you. I will help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. God wrapped me in peace that passeth understanding. I was in Good Hands.

Until Dr. D. informed me I needed a root canal. Holy tomato! You would have thunk he had unveiled a fatal disease. I am sincerely sorrowful to say I spun off my spindle. “A root canal! $1500?! I must pay you exorbitantly so I can endure excruciating pain?” I was undone. My confidence in Christ’s care vanished. He had clearly cast me off. Abandoned me to the cold-hearted cruelty of dentistry. And I would strain my small savings to boot. Trust me friends, you do NOT want to know where in the wilderness my mind and my heart wandered. I got so thick in the weeds for days I could barely muster a meaningful quiet time with the Lord, and you know that’s normally my most joyful time of praise, worship and renewal.

But don’t you for one minute think that God will betray you just because your snitty self is ignoring Him. Trying to avoid Isaiah 41:9-10 I stumbled on Isaiah 30:15-16: In returning and rest you shall be saved. In quietness and trust shall be your strength. But you said, “NO!” Oh my! That was a jab right to my heart. I was putting my faith in my faltering finances instead of my heavenly Father who owns the cattle on a thousand hills. (Ps 50:10)

It surely doesn’t take a Biblical scholar to notice Israel’s constant waywardness. Pull out your Bible and read Hosea 4, Nehemiah 9 and all through Exodus. God would clearly reveal His love for and patience with His chosen people, they’d momentarily return and repent, and next thing you know they’d wander off again, just like lost sheep. Honestly, I can relate. Like the rolling hills of West Virginia, I bounce from absolute faith and security to doubt and despair. Up. Down. High. Low. Faith. Doubt. Can you relate, saints? And the valleys are the perfect place for a Pity Party for One, notorious for serving up unhealthy indulgences. Robert Robinson, author of one of my favorite hymns, Come Thou Fount, nailed it. “Prone to wander, I can feel it. Prone to leave the God I love.”

I confess I can be quite judgmental of the contrary Jews. Seems they were always whining and willfully wandering.

But so am I.

If it’s not a root canal it’s traffic. Or noise. Or something really weighty like long lines in the market.

How about you, sister? Are you prone to wander? Prone to leave the God you love? Let’s come before Him together in prayer, shall we?

Oh gracious Father, we confess we so easily falter. Though we attempt to cling to your promise to uphold us with Your righteous right hand, we allow circumstances to sever our tether. Lord, be with my sisters who tend to turn to food for comfort rather than Your steadfast, never waning love. We all so easily tumble into doubt, then disobedience. Take our hearts, Lord, take and seal them. Seal them for Thy courts above.

Live Well,