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Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing...

By Tania ~

I love the words of the old hymn “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing.” I've loved them for a long time. Last year, as I began having these “challenges in my faith” and experiencing “a difficult time with God,” I'd listen to the words of this song, write them out, stick them on the fridge or the mirror – a sort of reassurance, an encouragement to keep trying with God. Now, as I listen to them, I realize I haven't left God, but rather that God (or at least the God I used to believe in) is not there.

come thou fount
come thou fount (Photo credit: J. McPherskesen)
I have not “wandered,” as into some questionable lifestyle or as though I've “forgotten” about Him and placed all kinds of other things ahead of Him. No, it's not like that. I've learned that for most of us “de-converteds,” it's not like that. We've researched, dug deep into books and our minds, exhausted ourselves praying and reasoning and wishing. We've stood in church, unable to sing along with certain songs or verses of songs, because we no longer believe what they're about. We've been unable to open our Bibles, because when we do, the cynicism and skepticism we have makes it too difficult. We've received those well-meaning emails from family and friends who say they're praying for us - that our faith would be restored, that we'd find good Christian friends, that we'd “just believe.” And over and over, we've thought to ourselves, “It's just not that simple.” And...we've realized that life does in fact go on. All is not bad, all is not lost.

We've found strength in new places, we've found value in other things. Life is still beautiful – much of it is unpleasant and painful and just downright awful, but there is still some beauty, hope, purpose. Much of it doesn't make sense, and there seem to be more questions. We've likely discovered new depths of mystery and perhaps come to realize, slowly, surprisingly, that the unanswerable questions have, in fact, enriched our lives. And there are still some parts of those songs that we can sing along with....

Come, Thou Fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
(God, if You're there, You are a God of grace, a God who understands my disbelief, who knows where I'm coming from. You honour my effort, You see in my love - towards other people, towards life, to all that is good - that I would love You, too, if I could believe in You just a bit....)
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.
(I do praise You, God – rather, I would, if I could. This world, this life, is amazing, incomprehensible, and I do believe that loudest praises could be given for all that is.)
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
(I'm willing to learn, God; if there's something I need to learn, teach it to me.)
Sung by flaming tongues above;
Praise His name, I'm fixed upon it -
Name of God's redeeming love.

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:
(It certainly makes more sense to bind my heart to You and to all that is right and pure and's just that, right now, it's too difficult to bring my heart to You, never mind bind it to You.)
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
(Yes, God, take my heart, seal it, for worthy efforts, for bigger purposes, for all that is not “me.” Let me remember my place, my smallness. Let me be filled with humility, with wonder and awe, let me live and love fully...and when those courts appear, when I am to give account for all I have or have not done in this life, let me be ready for whatever happens next.)
-from “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing” by Robert Robinson