Saturday, December 13, 2008

Needing Him Every Hour

Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.
2 Thessalonians 3:16

I had anticipated a busy day of visiting, or perhaps a busy day of having visitors, but it was not to be. Instead, we had a quiet day of chores, a few errands, some making and eating of decadent desserts (Donny's cherry chocolate cheesecake pie, to be specific), and a few serious conversations.

In the evening solitude, while Don was out with the guys, I reflected on the day's events. I became painfully aware of my own inadequacy, and how desperately I need my Savior at every moment. I need His wisdom when I don't know what to do or how to help. I need His comfort when I am burdened with pain and sorrow. I need His Spirit to guide me when temptations and selfishness distract me. I need His Word to instruct me, encourage me, and even rebuke me so that I follow in His ways. I need His nearness in my daily tasks of cooking and tidying and reading books and tucking little ones into bed, to remind me that I am serving Him by serving His children.

As I contemplated all this, my heart was filled with the words of this precious hymn as though they were written for me:

I need thee every hour, most gracious Lord;
no tender voice like thine can peace afford.

I need thee, O I need thee;
every hour I need thee;
O bless me now, my Savior, I come to thee.

I need thee every hour; stay thou nearby;
temptations lose their power when thou art nigh.

I need thee every hour, in joy or pain;
come quickly and abide, or life is vain.

I need thee every hour; teach me thy will;
and thy rich promises in me fulfill.

I searched online for the history behind the fitting song. Both on the Cyber Hymnal site and this helpful blog, I read the account left by Annie S. Hawks, the author who penned "I Need Thee Every Hour" in 1872. She wrote,

"One day as a young wife and mother of 37 years of age, I was busy with my regular household tasks. Suddenly, I became filled with the sense of nearness to the Master, and I began to wonder how anyone could ever live without Him, either in joy or pain. Then the words were ushered into my mind and these thoughts took full possession of me."

Isn't that just what I should be - constantly filled with the nearness of my Master? His presence was discernible to me tonight, as it was to Mrs. Hawks more than a hundred years ago. My Lord has given me a much-needed reminder that He is always with me, not just because He loves me, but because I need Him. Though there have been countless hours - even days and weeks - when I was consumed with my own thoughts, sorrows, pleasures, and activities, there has never been an hour when I did not need a Savior. Every hour of every day He gives me, I need my Lord.

Years later, after the death of her husband, Annie Hawks wrote,

"I did not understand at first why this hymn had touched the great throbbing heart of humanity. It was not until long after, when the shadow fell over my way, the shadow of a great loss, that I understood something of the comforting power in the words which I had been permitted to give out to others in my hour of sweet serenity and peace."

Thank you, Lord, for the words of this song that touch my heart. In moments of peace and of moments of chaos, moments of joy and moments of sorrow, moments of hope and moments of discouragement, may I ever remember that You are near, and You alone will fulfill my every need.

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