Author: Sallie Ross

Save us, O Lord our God, and gather us from the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name and glory in your praise. Psalm 106:47

I love that God is a gatherer. We see this image tenderly in Isaiah 40:11: “He tends His flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to His heart.” That the God of all power would not just “ZAP” us into His presence but would gather us, carrying us close to His heart–there we see the power of His passion.

The heart motive of the psalmist is, of course, a longing to be saved. He is confessing in this psalm Israel’s propensity towards rebellion towards God. And he is asking God to come gather them from all of the places to which they have been scattered. But at the core of his heart is the longing to praise God: “that we may give thanks to your holy name and glory in your praise.”

One might argue that the longing was more deeply to be saved; God can purify motives! But when we enter into praise, when we can, as the psalmist writes: “glory in your praise”, then whatever brought us to that place pales in the life that is ours in that place of praise.

Even individually, we are scattered. Our allegiances do not begin and end with Jesus but instead find home in so many different places. When we love the Lord, we at least try to make the allegiances godly ones–but godly can be a world away from God.

The cry of our hearts, which may very well need the encouragement of the Body of Christ, needs to be “Save us”. Then from glorying in His praise we can discover the road of obedience that brings us back to the field of our Father, that we may be gathered in his arms and carried close to his heart. . .now and forever. . .

–Lord God, even though I run the other way at times, the deepest longing of my heart is to be gathered in your arms–to be held–to be safe. Give me the grace and the humility to run to rather than run from. That I might find your life.