I’ve always loved the hymn Come Thou Fount. I’ve sung this countless times in church, in the shower, in the car, in my head — I had to refrain from adding it to every single worship set list when I led. It’s a beautiful hymn whose lyrics are so full of our own struggles and God’s persistent love for us despite our frequent failures.
This song keeps playing in my mind lately. And the first few lines keep repeating in my heart: Come thou fount of every blessing / Tune my heart to sing thy grace.
It isn’t extremely enlightening or revolutionary, but these words hit home in a way that press against my chest and constrict my breathing. And when I sing these lines, I feel more as if I am crying out a prayer instead of singing a traditional folk melody.
“Come thou fount of every blessing.” Every blessing. Every single one. Not just blessings I think count as blessings. Not just “good” things. By singing this line I am asking for blessings. I am pleading for blessings. I am accepting whatever blessings God decides to pour on me. I am saying yes to Christ. I am saying yes, please send me whatever blessings you see fit to give me.
And normally we view blessings as good things in our lives. Blessings are things we can be thankful for. Blessings are things that make us happy. But sometimes what I forget is that a blessing can come in so many forms. A blessing can come in the form of a full-time job with benefits, but this job might not be anywhere even close to what I want to do with my life. And though I may not be satisfied with the daily grind, what a blessing it is to be employed and to have affordable insurance. A blessing can be parents who are available to watch over my children. Maybe I don’t like the way my parents watch TV with them all day, but I’m unable to be home and my parents provide free child care. A blessing can be an overbearing mother who tells me what to do and how to do it. While that may be frustrating at times, what a blessing it is to have someone care for me this much. A blessing may be that I am unemployed. But it might also give me the time I need to reset my life and figure out my priorities–what matters most. What a blessing that I’m not chained to a desk or a miserable job eight hours a day for five days a week.
There are so many things in life that can be construed as difficulties and obstacles. But these could just as easily be seen as the seeds of blessings. The hardships I go through today may grow into beautiful prosperous things tomorrow.
And so when I sing these words: “Come thou fount of every blessing,” I am letting God know that I mean it. I am not half heartedly singing about a blessing that I want him to send me. I am letting Christ know that I am ready and open to the possibility that the blessing I receive might not seem like a blessing now, but I have faith and trust that it will be a blessing eventually.
And the next line is so beautifully scripted: “Tune my heart to sing thy grace.”
Now that I’ve just resigned myself to the reality of what a blessing might be, I am asking God to tune my heart accordingly.
Isn’t that powerful? As a human, as a person who’s imperfect and fallible, I won’t always be happy-go-lucky and praising God. I won’t always be a beacon of light and hope and love. I will be affected by life and the circumstances of my situations, which will make me go out of tune sometimes. And that’s OK. I’m not able to be strong alone. God knows this. And he pursues me every day so that I don’t have to do this alone.
Even the most beautiful instruments will go out of tune. And we need some tool to calibrate our instruments. How else will we know whether we’re flat or sharp? As a person, I need to be tuned once in a while too. And to me, that’s comforting–knowing that I’m not expected to be perfect all the time.
God will do His work in me, only He can set my heart right. Despite all the things going on in my life, God is still good. God is still constant. He is the same God who made a remarkable promise to Abraham so many years ago. And when I sing “tune my heart to sing thy grace” I am acknowledging to God the condition of my heart. That I may be out of tune. That I may not be perfectly right with Him at this moment. But I am asking for Christ’s help. I am asking to be transformed into the kind of person who is able to sing God’s praise–who is able to live the wonderful grace I’ve already received.
So, yes, God, come thou fount of every blessing let it pour into my life and transform my character and tune my heart to sing thy grace so that no matter what You drown me in, may You be fine tuning me into the woman you created me to be–may you transform the way I live to reflect who You are.