Unexpected Rope

“O to grace how great a debtor
daily I’m constrained to be!
Let thy goodness, like a fetter,
bind my wandering heart to thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
prone to leave the God I love;
here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
seal it for thy courts above.”


This is the 3rd verse of one of my favorite hymns, “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing.” I have been pondering these words since we sang them in church this morning. I think I am particularly fond of this verse because I am so aware of my tendency to wander away from God. It seems so often that I find myself putting off my time with Him or avoiding and ignoring His presence because I just don’t want to meet with Him at that particular moment. Why I do this, I will never understand. It is the delight of my soul to be in God’s presence, yet I still wander away. I guess it is proof of the selfish nature still within me that just wants to do things my way.


Because of this tendency I have to wander away from my God, I often pray one line from this verse: “Bind my wandering heart to thee,” begging God to do whatever it takes to keep me close to Him. I’m not exactly sure what I expected God would use to “bind my heart” to Him. I guess I thought He would just cause me to desire Him more and desire other things less. You know, something wonderfully easy, simple and painless like that. But just yesterday, I became aware of the unexpected “rope” He has been using to bind my heart to Himself:


My Weaknesses


There are a few particular areas of my life that I feel completely out of my element. One of those areas is conflict. I DREAD conflict. Any and all of it. Even the slightest hint of it makes me anxious. I will usually do anything to avoid it and keep the peace. Tied to this fear of conflict comes a desire to please people rather than please God. In an avoidance of conflict, I have often held my tongue concerning the things of God or disobeyed God because I knew what He wanted me to do wouldn’t be very well received.


Even though I have seen growth and progress in these areas by the grace of God, I still feel just as helpless when faced with conflict or confrontation. The simplest conversation with only a small potential for conflict will still send me to my knees in prayer. As I approached one of these conversations yesterday, I realized how this area of weakness in my life keeps me running back to God. Just like a rope tethering my heart to Him.


“Bind my wandering heart to thee…” God has bound my heart to Himself. And He has used the rope of my weaknesses to do it. How I will always be grateful for anything that causes me cling to God! We always think it would be better to be free from all our weaknesses and areas of struggle. But then we wouldn’t need God anymore. Anything that causes us to be desperate for God is a blessing!


Many times, trials are just as strong of a “rope” to bind my heart to God. This past season of multiple miscarriages brought such a deep intimacy in my walk with God. The pain I was going through caused me to spend hours and hours each day in prayer and in the Word searching for answers. And I wouldn’t trade that time for anything.


I’m not sure what your weaknesses or trails may be currently, but if they propel you into God’s presence in desperation, then rejoice! He is using them to keep you close to Himself. And to be in God’s presence is the greatest gift!


“Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness ” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.”
2 Corinthians 12:8-10

16 Comments

  1. Joy

    It is amazing to me how sovereign God really is. How would he know that I would read your words from April 3rd on August 7th and have them be exactly what I need. I follow your husband’s music and came upon this website in a round about way. I read your comments because I was simply interested in what kind of woman you are that he would put in his music so often and glorify God at the same time . I had no doubt that you would be a godly woman, but had been a bit curious about the kind of things that you would lend your voice to. What I love about his music is that he is actually saying something not just about God but about the world and have often wondered what kind of strength it would take to encourage, stand behind, push or just make room for that kind of gift. Well, I found out that it takes you. I read your words and thought “What a mighty woman of God!” I was instantly uplifted when I read your title, amused when I realized that God had used my own curiosity to set me up, inspired when you talked of your struggle and encourage to count my trails as joy by the time you were finished. I’ve written a few songs and I sing a little but here lately I have felt so far away from God that I neglect to just get in His presence for fear of being unaccepted. I tend to feel that I can’t offer Him my songs and sing before Him unless I have been invited. ( I tend to pray in song.) I always think of how queen Vashti in the book of Esther had to wait for the king to hold out his sepulchre to her before she could come before him. I keep waiting for God do the same in a way. I know that the veil has been split. I know that He welcomes us all to come freely. However, it seems like once I actively leave His feet, I have to wait for the invitation again. I know that it sounds strange, but i’ve dwelt with Him and communed with Him on levels that I consider to be such a privilege and honor. I keep saying “there’s know way that He would just let me in again. Not when i’ve been away this long.” I don’t want to bring Him my baggage though He said to “cast all of my cares…” I keep trying to come to him with an empty slate. When I read about the rope I realized that, said rope, has to be connected at the other end. If He is the one holding the rope. If He is the one pulling me back in. If He is the one I’m tethered to. Then He obviously wants me there. So, by not coming to Him I am not waiting for an invitation, I’m rejecting His invitation. I now find myself wanting to run back into his presence. Thank you so much.

  2. Mel

    Hi Kelly, I’m from the state of Washington. I’ve been having a huge struggle with trusting the Lord. I recently lost my job and I have a huge bill due the 22nd of this month and lately I’ve felt like God has had me on hold. I havent found a job and I have no money & I have no idea how that bill will be payed. I am honestly waiting for God to do the supernatural and for him to provide. I am trusting with all of my heart But in the midst of my wait…. I begin doubting and being afraid that he might ….Not come through or that he may forget about me. During this trial is where I have seekd him the most. Where Ive had to surrender and give it to him. This trial has propelled me to Gods presence in desperation. I’ve spoken to him more than I had the past few months. I’ve prayed so much more and my faith is growing… And now I’m waiting… Waiting to see if he’s gonna respond. If he’s gonna provide that exact amount I need for my bills. But I rejoice in my trial and I proclaim his name! Because I know that my God never fails.

  3. sarah

    please update your blog !!!!!

  4. Aly

    Hey!
    I’m a Canadian friend who occasionally reads your posts. And by occasionally I mean like twice haha. But tonight I thought I would see what’s new, so to speak. Honestly my life is crumbling right now, my sister is sick, my parents are seperating…It seems like everything i relied on is being stripped away. In my devos the Lord lead me to the verses in 1 Corinthians about the thorn in Paul’s side…I have concluded that i don’t know why God allows some stuff to happen..but He does…I wish I knew why and I have cried sooo much. But Christ is showing me that He is my strength. If I don’t have God or His people…then who do I have? Who am I but God’s daughter, complete and whole only in Him? In Psalms it says that God is close to the broken hearted, He is near to those who are weary with weeping..through trials God brings us closer to His heart..I probably won’t ever undestand why, but I trust in the One who knew me before I was born. When I put my life in God’s hands I also need to trust that He will take care of me.

    That’s my two cents,
    Be blessed: Love you Sister in Christ, Aly

  5. Camila

    Hi, Kelly!

    I’m from Brazil and the first time I had contact with your words was last year, reading “My First Love – Part 1”. It has changed me and made me grow sooo much!

    You’re a blessing!!!

    And than, I just stopped reading…

    Time and time again I would say to myself “I’m gonna use the 15 minutes of my lunchtime today to read something Kelly wrote”. And than, I would always start reading something else, about fashion, shoes and many other silly things.

    I follow you on Twitter, and I aways think “I have to visit her blog”. But I just dodn’t. I truly believe that the enemy of my soul had been trying to keep me away from you blog, because it is just so good and spirit growing!

    Today, when I have finally made it to come here, I couldn’t believe you were talking about the same difficulty I have to be in God’s presence. I have even told Him “I love you so much and I adore to be in Your presence! Why is it so hard for me to start praying? Why do I procrastinate my moments with You”?!?

    And I used to think (until now) that He would answer to my prayer to be closer to Him by making me desire Him more. Now I see why certain things happen.

    My difficulty is to trust He is in control. Everytime He tells me He’s gonna do something, I’m afraid of doing things wrong. I’m also afraid other people will do things wrong and than, His will won’t prevail. Than I start praying, so that He will guide me and people around me, to make us do ecxactly what He wants us to. It really draws me closer to Him.

    It reminds me the words “Oh, blessed cross, that keeps me closer to my Savior”!

    And now, I may say “Oh, blessed Kelly, that teaches me how to be closer to my Savior”.

    May Jesus bless you and your family!!!

    Hugs,

    Camila

    1. Camila,

      Thanks for commenting. I’m so glad God is using my blog in your life! May you keep chasing after Him and let nothing stop you. =)

      Blessings sister, Kelly

  6. Brandon

    Awesome post!

  7. I just wanted you to know that I had been praying to God to speak to my heart about being closer to him and about our struggle with infertility. As I finished my prayer I got an email saying that you had wrote a new blog post. It spoke to my heart all of the things that I had just been praying about. God definitely uses our struggles to bring us closer to him and to help others. Thanks for sharing and letting Jesus speak through you!!

    1. I understand struggles with infertility. It is hard, but God has used those struggles to keep me close to Him. Keep pressing forward and always thank Him for never letting you get too far away. Blessings sister!

  8. omgeeesshhh!!!

    this is so relevant to my life right now its not even funny!

    idk if you read your comments but here is my scheeeel!

    1.) i am a LARGE confrontation avoider as well. which, like you said, makes me a people pleaser, not a god pleaser. which in turn has instilled a fear in my of being lonely.

    2.) i have always been indifferent about life, just kind of a go with the flow person, so it wasn’t until recently that i began searching for my puporse. questioning everyday “what does god want me to do? why am i here?” i feel that i posess no talent, i have little to no passion for anything…so i felt the mission at hand was hopeless. then oneday i began to sit and ponder on what would truly make me…i guess happy for lack of a better word, and i realized i wanted to work somewhere with musician…. my fav. artist ever jimmy needham, you may know him, he has an incredibly beautiful wife;),…. anyways. i began feeling even more hopeless about my quest for purpose because the more i serached for purpose the quieter it seemed god got. i was so tired of getting my hopes up because disappointment hurts more than hope feels good.
    i explored other options on my purpose but jet coming up with nothing.

    honestly just yesterday did i decide to guava up in my “dreams” because they were rds that lead to disappointment..
    i was and kind of still am convinced got only sustained me to make me suffer…..

    but the verse in which paul speaks about the JOY in suffering kept creeping into my mind….
    and then i came here to check you updates and you speak about the things that cause you to be desperate for god are a blessing….

    l0l.
    even when i try my hardest NOT to be impressed by the things god does. i cant help but smile…
    even as i type this.
    even if you never read this.
    even if i never work for/with Jimmy needham.
    even if it takes me till im forty(im currently 20) for god to reveal my purpose.

    You have reminded me God really does have my back.

    Miss Kelly, words cant express the gift you have given me in this very moment.

    thank you.

    -Jes

    (P.s- please excuse the typos. i was kind of excited and my mac auto corrects. LOL)

  9. “Anything that causes us to be desperate for God is a blessing!”

    I so pray that God helps me to remember that! I really needed to read this, Kelly. Thanks! 🙂

  10. Robbie

    Kelly,
    I can so relate to your words written here. I too have a tendency to wander from our loving Lord. When singing that song yesterday, it welled up inside my heart to run to Him. I love that He will “seal it for thy courts above”. We have the most amazing God!
    Thank you for your post.. 😉

  11. I love this!.. thank u!..

  12. Jenn

    Thank you for sharing this. I have shared this with someone who I think God wants to “hear” this.

  13. Verne

    Thank you, Kelly, for posting this.

    This is so helpful and encouraging!
    “Root of the Righteous…”

  14. Oh sister in our Lord! How this post made me think “yes! this is exactly what I am going through!”. So I go down on my praying knees and pray to let go of my ego and allow God to do what is trully best for me. Thank you for sharing. Thank you.

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