Depart From Me, Lord

“Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.”

Thus spake Peter in Luke 5:8. The words come just after he had caught the miraculous catch of fish. Jesus urged him to push back the boat into the waters, having previously returned with nothing; I suspect the tone of Peter’s agreement was less than gracious. The bursting nets revealed to the fisherman the authority of the One with whom he was dealing. It also exposed his own, hard heart for not having fully believed.

These are words I found myself saying this year, several times. Having done something foolish or sinful, I have repented on my knees, claiming the grace which God freely offers. I then find myself in awe of my Saviour that He should patiently suffer one such as me to be His follower. I am minded that there must have been ‘better’ people out there to save, ones warmer-hearted, more intelligent, more holy. Even ones more grateful for God’s grace which I am so inclined to take for granted. I do not know how I shall first face in heaven the One who loves so excessively, forgives so generously, and provides so magnanimously. What will one so vile say to One so beautiful, except “depart from me, O Lord”. Of course, the Lamb’s atoning blood cries louder even than my own conscience and Satan’s accusations. Though my heart would have Him depart from me, I know my departure He would never countenace, for His great love outweighs all. I was minded of Isaac Watts’ hymn, How Sad our State, Number 764 in Gadsby's Hymns:

1 How sad our state by nature is;

  Our sin how deep its stains;

  And Satan binds our captive minds

  Fast in his slavish chains.

2 But there's a voice of sovereign grace

  Sounds from the sacred word;

  Ho! ye despairing sinners come,

  And trust upon the Lord.

3 My soul obeys the almighty call,

  And runs to this relief;

  I would believe thy promise, Lord;

  O help my unbelief.

4 To the dear fountain of thy blood,

  Incarnate God, I fly;

  Here let me wash my spotted soul

  From crimes of deepest dye.

5 Stretch out thy arm, victorious King,

  My reigning sins subdue;

  Drive the old dragon from his seat,

  With all his hellish crew.

6 A guilty, weak, and helpless worm,

  On thy kind arms I fall,

  Be thou my strength and righteousness,

  My Jesus, and my all.



"Depart from me, O Lord".

"Come unto Me", He replies. 


Image by 3282700 from Pixabay