In John Newton’s hymn I have probably sung 1000 times the line “Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far “. But I don’t think I’ve ever slowed down long enough to consider what follows, “and grace will lead me home.”
Facing fears and worry over what will happen if we turn to the left or right it is easy to get the focus on ourselves and not God. We do not serve an impossible to please boss. We are not in relationship with an unreasonable Father. We are not called to just figure out how to follow Jesus. No! We serve a risen Savior who is at the right hand of the throne interceding for us. His office is always open. He is ready with all the grace we can ever need or even imagine. He stands ready as the Good Shepherd to guide, protect, provide and yes even rescue us when we wander! Then He will put us on His shoulders and safely lead us home!
Every time I read this verse I am reminded of the cistern we had back on the farm. In that area wells were expensive and rare. Our system gathered rain water from the roof and passed it through a carbon filter into a deep cement tank. But in dry weather it didn’t take long to deplete the supply so we would call for a water truck to come. That is how many of us are in our faith. On Sunday morning we get a little rain or we turn on a Christian radio program to refill our tank. But Jesus offers a gift meant to be more than just a refill. He offers freely a drink by which one single sip becomes in us a well. Why be satisfied with a full cistern when Jesus Christ is offering a well a river and a fountain of life!
Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” John 4:10 ESV
We were driving through Brooklyn looking for the way over to Manhattan. My step father hated asking for directions so with my mother’s help he headed towards the Empire state building which we could see clearly above the small buildings around us. The only problem was that we finally ran out of roads at the East river because he had not counted on having to cross the bridge! We shouldn’t laugh too much at him though because in the same way we are all trying to get to heaven but forget that there is a bridge to carry us over and only one: our Lord Jesus Christ!
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all Isaiah 53:6 ESV