Prone to Wander: Hope for God’s Wayward Children
We are all wanderers at heart.
Restless, hungry, discontent.
We’re wayward children, and it’s not God’s fault. It’s ours. God has poured out His fullness for us – all that He is and all that He has. It’s not that He can’t satisfy. The problem is, in our fleshly nature, we just don’t have a taste for all that.
That’s part of what it means to be sinners. It’s not just a theological concept, it’s an ugly, gritty everyday reality.
We have the frightening capacity to stand face to face with the divine and still crave what is earthly.
We have seen the glory of the infinite God, reflected brilliant in the face of Christ. How can we still be drawn by darkness? But we are.
This is the saddest thing about us. And we don’t want it to be this way. We hate our sin and the struggle that never stops. Sometimes it feels like the war is ripping us apart.
But there’s hope. Even when we’re grieving over our sin, when it feels like the fight is too much, we can look up to the dazzling radiance of hope. Behind the hope, there is grace. And behind the grace, a God who shows His scars and opens His arms to flawed and storm-tossed humanity.
We are His
When Scripture says that Christ bought us, it’s not just using a figure of speech. Christ died a real and bloody death to buy us back from hell. He rose from the dead to claim us. He set His seal on us. After all that, do you think our sin could make Him abandon us, walk out on this hard-won relationship? There’s no way we can wander too far for Him to follow us. God has come to live, not only with us, but within us. That means that even when we’re rebelling, we’re never out of His sight. Never out of His reach. His Spirit is our tenant, the Lover and Master of our hearts. Our sin will grieve Him, but it cannot loosen His grip of love on our soul.
Let thy goodness…
We have tasted the goodness of God. We know that there is nothing sweeter. In His presence, cherished and worshiping, is the one place we really want to be.
That will keep bringing us back.
We may stumble, stray, lust after vain and petty things, but we will always find our hearts being drawn back to His presence. His arms. As the songwriter puts it: “Let thy goodness, like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to Thee.”
God is better than all the dreams and desires and mirages of this age. Our renewed hearts know it and His Spirit confirms it.
His goodness will have the last word in us.
Hope for eternity
Yes, the struggle is real, but it is not forever.
The day is coming when we will no longer be sinners. We will be perfected, transformed and purified. Sin will be far from our thoughts and foreign to our hearts.
These days of sinning will be over, these days of wandering and stumbling and wrestling. Never again will we feel guilty, dirty or ashamed.
That is glorious hope.