Robert Robinson (1735-1790) was 8 years old when he lost his father. Although he was very bright, as he grew older he became very stubborn and difficult for his single mother to handle. As a result, in his early teen years she sent him to London for an apprenticeship with a barber. Unfortunately, Robert proceeded to get into even more trouble, taking on a life excessive drinking and gambling. At 17, Robert and some of his drinking buddies decided to attend an evangelistic meeting, with a plan to ridicule this so-called ‘religious circus show’. When George Whitfield began to preach, Robert felt as if the sermon was just for him. He did not respond to the altar call that night, but the words of the evangelist would haunt him for the next three years. On Dec. 10, 1755, at age 20, Robert finally yielded his life to Christ, and very soon thereafter answered a call to the ministry.
A few years later, he penned the words to the song we have come to know and love “Come thou fount of every blessing…” One Sabbath afternoon I was singing this song and the words in the fourth verse stood out to me because in many more ways than one, I felt that Robert was writing on behalf of people like me when he wrote the words:
“…Prone to wander Lord I feel it prone to leave the God I love…”
I have been prone and I am still prone to leaving God… for moments…days or weeks at a time…If we really think about it…most of us are prone to leaving God even though we love him because we were born into this curse of sin. Most people want to do what is right but often fail to do so…myself included. In other instances, doing right only lasts for but a few seasons then we wander away from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The result thereof is guilt, shame and discouragement. A puzzled Paul also penned his thoughts on struggling with sin in Romans Chapter 7- a passage familiar to most. He acknowledges that the law is good and righteous and will be beneficial to us if we abide by it. However, in verse 15 of Romans 7 he says:
“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do, I do NOT DO. But what I hate I DO”
He then points out that the SIN living in him drives him to do that which he does not want to do. We are all prone to leave God at one point or another in our lives because of our sinful nature but this should NOT define who we are. As Christians, we should know that the Lord’s mercies are new every morning and as such, we are given a brand new day as we wake (both physically and metaphorically) because he loves us and he makes all things new. The devil wants us to feel hopeless and discouraged when we do wrong. He wants us to believe that salvation is ‘unattainable’ since the narrow path is ‘so hard’. What we forget though is that even though our sinful nature sometimes leaves us vulnerable and exposed….We can never wander too far from God.
No matter how far we go, when we individually look back and return to our rightful place, Jesus is right there, with open arms.In our daily endeavors, let us remember that the Lord is our strength and he will give us the strength when we become vulnerable and caught up in a web of sin. We are his bride and he is our groom, the same way a woman depends on the man she loves for constant strength to overcome daily challenges…so should our relationship be with God.