The Return of the Wandering Heart
I’ve just come out of an extremely busy time. A very good time, but also exhausting. Even a family vacation—fun, wonderful, delightfully relational—was not particularly restful. The next month allows for some time for reflection and refreshing before a very full fall.
I am hoping to hear from God about His plans for me in the days, weeks, months ahead. But mostly I want to make sure my heart is where it belongs.
A promise to the children of Israel which I have claimed for many prodigals over the years also contains some good and encouraging words for me. And I hope for you.
“My eyes will watch over them for their good, and I will bring them back to this land. I will build them up and not tear them down; I will plant them and not uproot them. I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the Lord. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart.” (Jeremiah 24:6-7)
My eyes will watch over them for their good: Oh what a beautiful assurance—God watches over me for my good. (See also Jeremiah 32:40) He never takes His eyes off me—always looking for ways to do good for me.
I will bring them back to this land: For the Israelites, that meant home in Jerusalem. They had wandered and were exiled. Have I wandered from my true home in the Lord? Have other places or people or plans or desires become “home” for my heart?
I will build them up and not tear them down: Sometimes it feels like most of what He is doing is “tearing down.” But that isn’t what He says. He is building up. Even when “remodeling” requires some demolition, it is for the purpose of building up, of making it/me better.
I will plant them and not uproot them: His purpose is to bring growth. He will provide all I need—nourishment, rain, sun, fertilizer—to grow into the woman He created me to be. And He will not be quick to pull me up and toss me away when I am slow to respond. He will be patient to see the growth He has provided for.
I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the Lord: He offers a heart transplant. A new heart that keeps Him first, that seeks Him above all else, that prefers Him to all the world offers or the flesh desires or the devil tempts with. Yes, Lord, may I know You are the Lord and may I keep you as Lord of my life.
They will be my people, and I will be their God: Oh what a promise: I belong to Him and He belongs to me. I think it implies even more, as mentioned in Song of Solomon—I am my Beloved’s and He is mine. Desired. Accepted. Loved. Cherished.
For they will return to me with all their heart: Thank You, Lord, that You know my desire to live and rest in You. So when my heart wanders, and it does; and when I put something else higher in my affections than You, and too often I do; and when I believe something besides You will satisfy my deepest longings, and sometimes I make that choice—You will pursue and woo and draw my heart back to Yours.
I love how God pursued the Children of Israel. And I am so grateful that He pursues me, bringing me back, keeping me close, building and planting—and loving me.
What about you? Has your heart wandered?
C2013 Judy Douglass