Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Leaning on the Everlasting Arms.....

"What a fellowship
What a joy divine
Leaning on the Everlasting Arms!
What a blessedness
What a peace is mine
Leaning on the Everlasting Arms!"~ Elisha Hoffman 1887

Truly, is there anywhere else in this world where peace and joy can be found other than in the Arms of the Everlasting God?

This song has been running through my head tonight and it caused me to reflect on all the other things that I have 'leaned' on in my life. It is safe to say that the list is long, and actually humbling to recount. I have tried finding strength just about everywhere else on the planet before I came to the life-changing realization that true strength that stands when all else is falling is found in Jesus alone.

"On Christ the solid Rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand.
All other ground IS sinking sand." ~Edward Mote 1834

Obviously, people have been getting this for long before me. Thank the Lord that they composed such testimonial hymns to relate to us that would come later.

Hymns have always been a comfort food musically to me. I grew up with my spunky Grandma Freda singing and humming them around her little house in Portland, OR. Her 'Camp Song' books were left to me after she went home to Jesus, and I spent many hours reading them and thinking about their meaning as a young adult.

"I heard an old, old story,
How a Savior came from glory,
How He gave His life on Calvary
To save a wretch like me;
I heard about His groaning,
Of His precious blood's atoning,
Then I repented of my sins
And won the victory." ~ Eugene Monroe Bartlett 1939

Such rich, deep, truth embedded in every one. To truly understand what Christ did for me leads me straight to the foot of that old bloody cross, and to a decision as to what I'm going to do about it.

"Amazing Grace
How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost
But now I'm found
Was blind
But now I see."~ John Newton 1760-70

And what a wretch I was! And how lost.... I can't get through that verse without choking back tears of gratitude for the Grace that has saved me, given me sight, and led me home.
My salvation experience wasn't an easy one, no human led me in a prayer, no alter was around to hear a pastor's voice calling. In sharp contrast, however, was the roar of the ocean, the pounding of my own heartbeat, and the clarion call of the Saviour of my soul.

"At the cross, at the cross,
Where I first saw the light,
And the burden of my heart rolled away.
It was there by faith
I received my sight
And now I am happy all the day."~ Isaac Watts 1707

To finally grab hold of the truth that I have a Redeemer that truly wants to shoulder the burdens of this life has brought a rest to my spirit and peace to my mind that is near indescribable. The Enemy would love nothing better than to convince me that it is I that should be able to carry it all, and then back up to my emotional driveway with a truckload of guilt when I can't. Thank you Lord that your yoke is easy and your burden is light.

It's always about His strength, and about Him perfecting it in my weakness.

Thank you Jesus for the gift of music, for the depth of the Hymns, and for your Truth most of all.


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