This verse really hit me lately:
The eyes of the LORD search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. (2 Chronicles 16:9)
There is just something epic about that: God looking all about the world, just trying to find people who are committed to him, so that he can bolster them up, encouraging them to press on. Sort of like an anti-Eye of Sauron. (I've been reading Lord of the Rings lately...)

But what does "committed" really mean? I think its essence can be boiled down to one thing: a decision. We decide to follow Jesus, no matter what, and forever. In that decision comes God's strength in the midst of doubt, perseverance and, of course, his love, which initiates the whole thing. But as I think about the concept of commitment, I have to conclude that far too often our relationship with God is more like a friendship than a marriage.

But "friends are friends forever." Maybe sometimes Michael W. Smith, but other times you drift apart, experience splitting differences, change interests, mature at various rates or move away. There are only a few friends I still stay in touch with from my childhood, and even then we have grown differently over the years; the things that once held us together have evolved into something else.

A marriage, on the other hand, is set up to last longer. Not just longer, forever. Marriage vows are made to go the distance. You either grow together, or you have a crappy marriage (to put it a little frankly). So why is it so easy to consider walking away from God, when our relationship to him is described as none other than a marriage?

I know in my journey with Christ, there have been times when I was tempted to quit. Some ideas showed up that didn't line up with what I believed, and I began to doubt whether it was all true. This is normal I think, considering the weight of belief and the enemy of our souls; but how easily do I drift away within this doubt, a little too ready to give it all up? It's like this famous hymn says:
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.
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.
Maybe "Come Thou Fount" actually captures the keys to sticking around: grace, goodness and a willing heart. Grace for when we fall -- for surely we receive such from God -- to allow ourselves another chance. God's goodness to sustain us in these times of doubt, not letting us go. And a willingness to give whatever is left over to God, "sealed" away where we can't move it from the throne at which our fragile hearts are chained.