Wandering Hearts

“Thou hast taken account of my wanderings; Put my tears in Thy bottle; Are they not in Thy book?” (Psalm 56:8 NASB)

Our family attends church on Saturday nights, usually. This weekend we were running a little late and were scurrying to get into the sanctuary before service started. I was perusing the section we sit in looking for a place that would accommodate all of us. I was ecstatic when I found seats on the end. There’s nothing worse (in my opinion) than having to climb over strangers. Anyhow, when I was about to sit down I thought I heard my name. I stopped and looked around and there behind me, a few rows back, was an old friend. She and I started homeschooling together when my oldest and her youngest started kindergarten. They were in the same class and it was our first year at this co-op school. Here it is nine years later. And our not so young children are starting high school next year.

After the service was over, my friend waited for me. She gave me a hug and we caught up for a few minutes before we had to leave. It was such a welcomed hug and talk. I have always maintained that she is one of my favorite people. We picked up where we left off as if we had never missed a beat. The thing is, her daughter attended a different school this year and I hadn’t seen her in several months. And honestly, I hadn’t really thought about her much. But seeing her again brought back a flood of memories. We had once been a part of a prayer group together. We have prayed for each other’s children. We have been friends, sharing in each other’s ups and downs over the years. And when I saw her again, there was a feeling of comfort there. There was a familiarity that I had forgotten about. I guess with our busy lives taking us in different directions, we had simply wandered away from that friendship. The sad thing was, I hadn’t even noticed I missed her until we met again.

I was thinking about this while I was reading and journaling this morning. I was thinking about my relationship with the Lord. There are times I wander away and don’t even realize that I really miss Him. I wasn’t angry or feeling rejected, I just moved away. There are times I have thought we were okay and close and communicating, but in reality, my heart was far from Him. Does this happen when life is going good and I pray less? Does this happen when I am relying on my strength and not His? I don’t know. I think that sometimes my heart just wanders. And it doesn’t have to necessarily have to wander into sin. It’s just stagnant.

I’ve been feeling kind of blah lately. I’m not depressed. I’m not sad. Maybe after the heightened excitement over the holidays, I’m just having some down time. But lately, I’ve been feeling kind of far from God. I’ve been praying, most days. I’ve been doing my quiet time as usual. But I can tell my blogs have been forced. I have just been feeling disconnected from God lately and I don’t know why. Then this morning, I felt the prompting of the Holy Spirit. I felt the Lord putting writing prompts in my head again. There was a feeling of exhilaration within my heart and mind. It was as if a long lost friend had entered my life again. And it felt good. Now, I know we don’t base our relationship with God on feelings. But there was a warmth I felt this morning that had been absent. There was a familiarity that wasn’t there yesterday. And I welcomed the presence of the Holy Spirit into my life once again.

There will be dry times in our relationship with the Lord. But that doesn’t mean He has left us. He is still there, listening and working in our lives as He always is. But maybe He allows those desert wanderings to come into our lives for a reason. Because when we find our way back to Him, it’s as if we have found a long lost friend. We pick up where we left off. There is a comfort there and a peace that is missing when we are away. I couldn’t really put my finger on it until today when it returned. I’m thankful for the reunion. I am thankful God has chosen to use me once again. But mostly, I am thankful that God always welcomes back my wandering heart.

Thank you Lord for remaining close by even when I wander.

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