Robert Robinson was a rising star in the Church in England in the 1800’s. This young gifted communicator was pastoring large churches before he was even thirty. He wrote music too. One of his best known hymns is the classic “Come Thou Fount.”
There’s a line in that hymn that betrayed young Robinson’s struggle. It went like this, “Prone to wander lord I feel it. Prone to leave the God I love. Here’s my heart lord take and seal it, seal it for thy courts above.”
I’m sad to say that Robert Robinson’s heart eventually wondered. He left the church and left the faith. Years later, he was in a coach riding through the English countryside. A woman was reading a book of poetry, and Robinson’s hymn was in it. She was transfixed by the lyrics. She said, “Read this.” She shoved the book in front of him. We he recognized his work he turned away. She persisted, “No look at this. Its brilliant.”
Finally he confessed, “Madam, I am the pathetic soul that wrote those lines and I would give a thousand tomorrows to feel now as I did then.”
I always wondered, “Robert Robinson, if that were true, then why not come back?”
In Luke 15, Jesus told the story of the wayward son. A father had two boys. The younger wanted to get his inheritance early and go it alone. So the father turned it over and the boy went and wasted his life. He wound up on a pig farm feeding swine. That’s when he finally came to his senses and said, “My father’s hired hands live better than this. I’ll go back home and work for dad. I’m not worthy to be his son, but I’m good enough to be his servant.” So the boy headed home.
When the father saw the son at a distance he ran to him. In that story, the father is God. This is the only time God ran.
I don’t know what pig farm you are living on. I don’t know what circumstances of despair you deal with. Maybe like Robert Robinson, your heart is prone to wander and you’ve wandered away. Like that wayward son in the pig farm you wonder if you can come home.
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28)