Welcome!  Hymns have been and continue to be a real source of inspiration to me.  My desire in this blog is to share special hymns with my readers hoping that the words will minister to them, especially in times of great personal need.  If one of these hymns ministers to you, please take time to leave a comment so that I know that my blog is helping others as much as it helps me. Sometimes I will also provide a link where you can go to hear the hymn played.  So, please join me here each week and sing along as we praise God together.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

WHEN I CAN READ MY TITLE CLEAR


         How well I remember the excitement when after years of renting, we were finally able to purchase our own home.  But for many years it really wasn't our own because the bank held the mortgage.  And monthly we paid back part of that debt until the day that the title to our home was finally ours.  Of course the bills went on for things like taxes, repairs, electricity, water, sewage, heat and all of that which  is part of home ownership.  My father-in-law used to say that you never own the home, the home owns you.  And I think he was right.  But I have received a title, free and clear, to another home, a perfect one which needs no upkeep.  I didn't have to earn it or purchase it, I received it as a gift the day I accepted Christ as my Savior.  The entire price was paid by Jesus when He died on the Cross of Calvary for my sins.  And I don't have to make any payments to maintain it, and even it  I wanted to, I couldn't.  It is all part of my heavenly inheritance.  And that is a much more valuable title than I could ever have or hope to have.  The great hymn writer, Isaac Watts (1674-1748), in 1707 captured this idea when he penned the words to this old hymn.   He called the hymn "The Hope of Heaven Our Support Under Trials on Earth." That reassures us that the opening line was not intended to cast doubt on the destiny of the child of God. It's not as though Watts was saying that he hasn't been able to "read his title clear" yet. Rather, it's in effect, "Because I'm able to read my title clear in God's Word, day by day."   In his first verse Watts shares about that mansion in the sky and how someday he would say farewell to every fear on earth and wipe his weeping eyes as he entered his eternal home.  In the second verse he shares about the fiery darts of Satan and how those who have the assurance of God's love can smile at Satan's rage, knowing that we can resist the devil and he will flee from us (James 4:7).  The third verse refers to the cares and sorrows of this life which can come like a wild deluge against us. However, those who have assurance from God receive the living hope through Christ of an inheritance in heaven (1 Pet. 1.3-5).  And finally, verse four refers to the rest that will be part of our life in heaven even though through this life our souls often become weary (Galatians 6:9).  What a marvelous title and inheritance we have.  Whatever God has planned for His people in heaven, I am sure that we will spend rejoicing in it for all eternity "When I Can Read My Title Clear."


1    When I can read my title clear
to mansions in the skies,
I'll bid farewell to every fear,
and wipe my weeping eyes;
and wipe my weeping eyes,
and wipe my weeping eyes,
I'll bid farewell to every fear,
and wipe my weeping eyes.

2     Should earth against my soul engage,
and fiery darts be hurled,
then I can smile at Satan's rage,
and face a frowning world;
and face a frowning world,
and face a frowning world,
then I can smile at Satan's rage,
and face a frowning world.

3    Let cares, like a wild deluge come,
and storms of sorrow fall!
May I but safely reach my home,
my God, my heaven, my all;
my God, my heaven, my all,
my God, my heaven, my all,
may I but safely reach my home,
my God, my heaven, my all.

4    There I shall bathe my weary soul
in seas of heavenly rest,
and not a wave of trouble roll
across my peaceful breast;
across my peaceful breast,
across my peaceful breast,
and not a wave of trouble roll
across my peaceful breast.

You can listen to a special a capella version produced by one singer here.  LISTEN

Sunday, August 12, 2018

IN THE GARDEN OF MY HEART


          On several of our trips to Wisconsin, we were able to enjoy visits to Olbrich Botanical Gardens in Madison. Here there are 16 acres of all types of beautiful gardens.  Not only are these well maintained gardens very beautiful, but they are peaceful and relaxing.  I often wish that I could spend more time there walking, reflecting and talking to the Lord. Hymn writers have often used pictures, including gardens, to represent the spiritual lessons they want to share.  Some examples of that which I have shared in my blogs include "In The Garden", "The Beautiful Garden of Prayer" and "Thy Word is Like A Garden Lord". Haldor Lilenas (1885-1949), who wrote over 4,000 hymns, also chose a garden to picture our time of fellowship with the Lord.  He talks about times of sacred communion  with the Lord in the garden of our heart.  It can be a place and time of comfort and rest, shut away from the earth's strife.  But there is a problem with gardens.  At our house we have trouble with weeds that so easily grow in the midst of our flowers and if we don't work to eliminate and control them, the beauty of our gardens is lost.  And if we don't get enough rain or if we don't water them, they often shrivel and die.  It takes work to maintain beautiful gardens.  And the very same can be said about the garden of our heart. We need to work to avoid  and eliminate the "weeds".  And we need to spend time there in fellowship with the Lord.  We need to share with Him and listen to Him.  Do we forget to spend time in the Word?  Do we forget to take time with God and allow the garden of our heart to wither. Do we let negativity linger, allowing it to take root in our heart? Do we dwell on the rejection from a friend?  Are we allowing something to take root in this precious garden?  Think about this during the coming week.  May the garden of your heart be a place of sweet communion with the Lord.


1. There's a sacred and hallowed retreat,
Where my soul finds a fellowship sweet,
Where the Lord of my life I may meet,
In the garden of my heart.
In the cool of the day He walks with me,
In the rose bordered way He talks with me;
In love's holy union,
And sacred communion,
In the garden of my heart.

2. There is naught can disturb or molest,
There my spirit finds comfort and rest,
And my soul is no longer distressed
In the garden of my heart. 
In the cool of the day He walks with me,
In the rose bordered way He talks with me;
In love's holy union,
And sacred communion,
In the garden of my heart

3. Shut away from earth's strife and its din,
And protected from soul staining sin,
For my Savior is dwelling within,
In the garden of my heart. 
In the cool of the day He walks with me,
In the rose bordered way He talks with me;
In love's holy union,
And sacred communion,
In the garden of my heart

4. There the dove of sweet peace always sings,
And my faith ever trustingly clings;
And the chime of sweet happiness rings
In the garden of my heart.
In the cool of the day He walks with me,
In the rose bordered way He talks with me;
In love's holy union,
And sacred communion,
In the garden of my heart

Because this is not a very familiar hymn and because it is seldom sung today, it has been very hard to find a video of it. But  at least here is one that you can listen to.  LISTEN




Sunday, August 5, 2018

HEARTACHES (TH#21)


 TIMELESS HYMN #21 - Another revised and repeated blog of one of the great hymns of the faith - HEARTACHES  - originally shared on January 25, 2009
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         During my college days I had the opportunity to sing with a gospel quartet called "The Gospel Four".  We sang each Sunday morning on the radio for 15 minutes, each Sunday night before the evening message, and once in awhile at other churches and programs.  Two of the members were a generation older than I was and the third was about ten years older.  It was a special experience with great memories.  However, four of us younger fellows formed a second group.  We loved to sing but didn't get the opportunity very often to sing in public.  We just enjoyed being together and blending our voices in harmony.  One of the songs that we loved to sing was "Heartaches".  I guess that during those years we all thought that we had heartaches and we probably did.  But as young men we rarely thought about the heavy heartaches that we would probably all face later in life.  But as I've  personally faced many during recent years, the Lord has often brought back the words of this song and I often find myself singing them to myself.  Now I am the only one of the four men still living but I if I think about it, I can still hear the others harmonizing as we sang these comforting words.  But heartaches are a part of our lives and they were what brought about the writing of these words by A. H. Ackley (1887-1960).  Ackley was not only a Presbyterian pastor in the United States, but a skilled musician, master of the cello, and a hymn writer with about 1,500 songs to his credit.  In the early 1930's Ackley dealt with a family in which, to the continual grief of his parents, their son lived a wild and wicked life. Crimes he committed eventually landed him in prison for many years. The heartaches he caused possibly led to the early death of his mother. Unfortunately, there was no happy ending for him ... no repentance and rest in the Lord.   "Kick him into the street!",  advised a neighbor, when the young man was still living at home. "I can't," said his father. "He's my son, and I love him."  Together, Ackley and the father prayed earnestly for the salvation of the prodigal. One evening after the sorrowing father left him, Ackley wrote this song called simply Heartaches.  And over the years many have been touched by the words that he penned that night.  Maybe his words will help comfort you as you experience the heartaches that are part of our life here on this earth.


(1)   When your heart is aching, turn to Jesus,

He's the dearest Friend that you can know;
You will find Him standing close beside you,
Waiting peace and comfort to bestow.
Heartaches, take them all to Jesus,
Go to Him today,
Do it now without delay.
Heartaches, take them all to Jesus,
He will take your heartaches all away.

(2)   There is joy for every troubled sorrow,
Sweet relief for every bitter pain,
Jesus Christ is still the great Physician,
No one ever sought His help in vain.
Heartaches, take them all to Jesus,
Go to Him today,
Do it now without delay.
Heartaches, take them all to Jesus,
He will take your heartaches all away.

(3)   Jesus understands, whate'er the trouble,
And He waits to heal your wounded soul.
Will you trust His love so strong and tender?
He alone can make your spirit whole.
Heartaches, take them all to Jesus,
Go to Him today,
Do it now without delay.
Heartaches, take them all to Jesus,
He will take your heartaches all away.

Listen to it here     LISTEN

Sunday, July 29, 2018

JESUS MESSIAH


          I normally choose the older hymns to share in this blog, but sometimes some of the newer ones are just too meaningful and powerful not to use.  This week's choice is one of those that speaks to my heart every time I hear it.  Hopefully you will feel the same. Truly Jesus Messiah is a name above all names.  Philippians 2:10 reminds us, "That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth."  Blessed Redeemer, Emmanuel, Rescue for Sinners, the Ransom from Heaven, Jesus Messiah, Lord of all.  What a powerful statement.  He alone deserves our worship.  This song was written by Chris Tomlin, one of the best known worship leaders and writers of this age. When he was 11, Tomlin contracted infectious mononucleosis and was briefly bedridden. His father, Connie, brought him a guitar during this time, and Tomlin said that he learned to play it by listening to Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard and Alabama records: "That was my early early childhood music. I loved it. That's what my dad listened to, I just loved it. And so my first song I learned to play on guitar I think was 'Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain,' or 'On the Road Again,' those kind of songs."  Since that time the Lord has led him to write many powerful worship songs that have touched many lives.  Concerning this song, Tomlin said: "The initial melody and lyric of this song came from my guitar player, Daniel Carson. He is constantly writing and recording ideas, and from time to time I wander over to his world and listen. Among several demos, was this melody and lyric idea for a chorus that jumped out at me. At the same time, I was looking to use the name 'Messiah' in a song. The two ideas seemed to fit perfectly. Messiah is such a strong name for Jesus. For when you use that name, you are truly saying that He is the name above all names – that He is the Christ, the Son of God, the Chosen One, the Savior of the world. That's why you will notice that every lyric in this song amplifies this idea of Jesus being the Messiah."  Why not use Tomlin's song as part of your worship this week?  And as you do, hopefully you too will say and mean, "All I hope is in you, all I hope is in you, all the glory to you, God, the light of the world."


1.     He became sin, who knew no sin
That we might become his righteousness
He humbled himself and carried the cross
Love so amazing, love so amazing
Jesus Messiah, name above all names
Blessed Redeemer, Emmanuel
The rescue for sinners, the ransom from heaven
Jesus Messiah, lord of all

2.     His body the bread, his blood the wine
Broken and poured out all for love
The whole earth trembled, and the veil was torn
Love so amazing, how can it be? Your love's so amazing, yeah
Jesus Messiah, name above all names
Blessed Redeemer, Emmanuel
The rescue for sinners, the ransom from heaven
Jesus messiah, lord of all

All I hope is in you, all I hope is in you
All the glory to you, God, the light of the world

Here are two chances for you to listen to Tomlin's song.
First, by the Gaither's    LISTEN1
Second, from the Brooklyn Tabernacle    LISTEN2

Sunday, July 22, 2018

I WANT TO BE LIKE JESUS



        In his book "A Life Beyond Amazing", Dr. David Jeremiah shares a story in his chapter on "A Life of Integrity" that I have never forgotten.  A group of salesman were rushing to catch their plane home from Chicago.  They accidentally bumped into a stand where baskets of beautiful apples were being sold.  The apples tumbled all over the area but the salesmen kept on running toward their boarding gate.  But when they reached the gate, one of them told the others to get on the plane and he would catch a later flight home.  He then went back and saw a young lad trying to gather up all of the apples.  Many were bruised and some of the baskets were broken.  He got down on his hands and knees and helped the young lad retrieve his produce.  Then he pulled three large bills from his wallet and gave them to the lad with an apology.  The money more than covered the damages.   The boy nodded his thanks through his tears, and the salesman turned back to the lobby to arrange for a new flight home.  He hadn't walked far before the boy called out, "Mister …"  As he paused and turned around, the boy said, "Are you Jesus?"  Has anyone ever asked that about us?  Do our actions reflect what Jesus would do?  Today's hymn shares what should be our daily prayer, "I would be like Jesus". Thomas Obediah Chisholm (1866-1960) was born in Kentucky, and educated in a country schoolhouse where he himself became the teacher at the age of 16. For awhile, he worked as a reporter and the associate editor of a newspaper in Louisville. Then, after becoming a Christian, Chisholm became a pastor.  But ill health soon forced his resignation. For most of his adult life he worked as an insurance salesman. But he also wrote poetry and is said to have written over 1,200 sacred poems.  Some of these were turned into hymns, including "Bring Christ Your Broken Life", "Living For Jesus", "O, To Be Like Thee", "Only In Thee" and perhaps the hymn for which he is best known, "Great Is Thy Faithfulness."  Chisholm explained his approach to hymn writing in the following statement, "I have sought to be true to the Word, and to avoid flippant and catchy titles and treatment. I have greatly desired that each hymn or poem might have some definite message to the hearts for whom it was written".  Well this week's hymn does have a definite message for our hearts and it presents a challenge and goal for our daily living.  Can we say with Chisholm,  "O perfect life of Christ, my Lord! I want to be like Jesus. My recompense and my reward, That I may be like Jesus. His Spirit fill my hungering soul, His power all my life control; My deepest prayer, my highest goal, That I may be like Jesus."  May this be our daily desire and prayer.


1.     I have one deep, supreme desire, 
that I may be like Jesus.
To this I fervently aspire, 
that I may be like Jesus.
I want my heart His throne to be 
so that a watching world may see
His likeness shining forth in me. 
I want to be like Jesus.

2.     He spent His life in doing good; 
I want to be like Jesus.
In lowly paths of service trod; 
I want to be like Jesus.
He sympathized with hearts distressed, 
He spoke the words that cheered and blessed;
He welcomed sinners to His breast. 
I want to be like Jesus.

3.     A holy, harmless life He led; 
I want to be like Jesus.
The Father's will, His drink and bread, 
I want to be like Jesus.
And when at last He comes to die, 
"Forgive them, Father" Hear Him cry
For those who taunt and crucify.
I want to be like Jesus.

4.     O perfect life of Christ, my Lord! 
I want to be like Jesus.
My recompense and my reward, 
That I may be like Jesus.
His Spirit fill my hungering soul, 
His power all my life control;
My deepest prayer, my highest goal, 
That I may be like Jesus.

Listen to it here.   LISTEN

Sunday, July 15, 2018

SWEET WILL OF GOD



        It should be the desire of each believer to know and follow God's will in our lives.  Ephesians 1:12  gives the fundamental idea: "that we should be to the praise of His glory." To that end, it's God's will that we "be conformed to the image of His Son" (Rom. 8:29). Whatever choices and decisions we make, whatever we do and say, our goal should be to honour the Lord, and become more and more like Christ.  Now some of the details of His will may differ from person to person, according to the gifts and opportunities the Lord gives to each one.  And for some His will may even include going through, with God's help and presence, some very difficult situations.  The author of this hymn, Lelia Naylor Morris (1862-1929), experienced such difficult times.  After years of active ministry in churches and camp meetings, she became blind at the age of 52.  But she continued to write hymns on a 28-foot long blackboard that her family built for her.  She is said to have written 1000 texts and tunes including "Sweeter as the Years Go By" and "Sweet Will of God."  These have helped and encouraged many over the years, and that was part of God's will for her life. She learned the joy of following God's will by claiming the grace, provision and peace that He alone gives.  It's the desire of the Lord that we do His will, that His will and purpose be accomplished through us. Missionary and author Elisabeth Elliott said, "I have only one thing to do today: the will of God."  Is that our desire and experience as well?  The last  line of this hymn sums it up so beautifully. "The centre of God's will my home."   And what a "sweet" experience that really is.



1    My stubborn will at last hath yielded;
I would be Thine, and Thine alone,
And this the prayer my lips are bringing,
"Lord, let in me Thy will be done."
Sweet will of God, still fold me closer,
Till I am wholly lost in Thee;
Sweet will of God, still fold me closer,
 Till I am wholly lost in Thee.

2     I'm tired of sin, footsore and weary,
The darksome path hath dreary grown,
But now a light has ris'n to cheer me;
I find in Thee my Star, my Sun.
Sweet will of God, still fold me closer,
Till I am wholly lost in Thee;
Sweet will of God, still fold me closer,
Till I am wholly lost in Thee.

3     Thy precious will, O conqu'ring Savior,
Doth now embrace and compass me;
All discords hushed, my peace a river,
My soul a prisoned bird set free.
Sweet will of God, still fold me closer,
Till I am wholly lost in Thee;
Sweet will of God, still fold me closer,
Till I am wholly lost in Thee.

4     Shut in with Thee, O Lord, forever,
My wayward feet no more to roam;
What pow'r from Thee my soul can sever?
The center of God's will my home.
Sweet will of God, still fold me closer,
Till I am wholly lost in Thee;
Sweet will of God, still fold me closer,
Till I am wholly lost in Thee.

Listen to it here.   LISTEN          

Sunday, July 8, 2018

WHAT GOD HATH PROMISED (TH#20)


TIMELESS HYMN #20 - A special feature where I highlight some of my favorite hymns that have been featured previously in this blog.  These entries are revised and expanded and shared again for our encouragement and challenge.  This hymn was first shared here on March 29, 2009.

          Maybe it is my age, but it seems that everywhere I look good people are going through tough times ... illness, cancer, death, accidents, family problems, financial problems, employment problems, loneliness ... and the list could go on and on.  For centuries people have asked why these problems and trials come to good people.  Even David often raised this question in the Psalms. And while we may never know the answer here on earth, we do know that good people are not immune to trials.  But what we do know is that God does give us the strength that we need to face them.  He gives us rest, light and grace as we encounter them.   And He provides us with His presence and His peace to face them.  For many years a plaque with this hymn hung in my dad's study.  The same plaque used to hang in his parent's parsonage back in the 1920's.  So, apparently, even back then, good folks faced a multitude of trials and they, too, found their strength in the Lord and His perfect ways.  So maybe the words of this hymn written by Annie Johnson Flint (1866-1932) will encourage you today as you face your trials.   The author knew what trials were all about.  She not only lost her parents as a child, but also her adopted parents.  She developed severe arthritis and had to live out her years in a sanitarium.  And in these times of great trial in her life she penned many inspiring poems including this hymn and also "He Giveth More Grace".  And she found, just as we can, "strength for the day, rest for the labor, light for the way, grace for the trials, help from above, unfailing sympathy, undying love. " May that be your experience and testimony as well.


(1)  God hath not promised skies always blue,

Flower-strewn pathways all our lives through;
God hath not promised sun without rain,
Joy without sorrow, peace without pain.
But God hath promised strength for the day,
Rest for the labor, light for the way,
Grace for the trials, help from above,
Unfailing sympathy, undying love.

(2)   God hath not promised we shall not know
Toil and temptation, trouble and woe;
He hath not told us we shall not bear
Many a burden, many a care.
But God hath promised strength for the day,
Rest for the labor, light for the way,
Grace for the trials, help from above,
Unfailing sympathy, undying love.

(3)   God hath not promised smooth roads and wide,
Swift, easy travel, needing no guide;
Never a mountain, rocky and steep,
Never a river, turbid and deep.
But God hath promised strength for the day,
Rest for the labor, light for the way,
Grace for the trials, help from above,
Unfailing sympathy, undying love.

Listen to it here.    LISTEN

Sunday, July 1, 2018

GOD BLESS AMERICA


          In honor of the celebration of Independence Day in the United States, I have decided to go away from my usual sharing of hymns of the faith and instead share a patriotic song which has inspired Americans for years.  I apologize to readers from other countries but  I hope that this week you will allow us to celebrate and thank God for His former blessing on our country.

          It is said that Frank  Sinatra considered Kate Smith the best singer of her time, and he said that when he and a million other guys first heard her sing "God Bless  America" on the radio, they all pretended to have dust in their eyes as they wiped away a  tear or two.  The time was 1940. America was still in a terrible economic depression. Hitler was taking over Europe and Americans were afraid we'd have to go to war. It was a  time of hardship and worry for most Americans. This  was the era just before TV when radio shows were huge and American families sat around their radios in the evenings, listening to their favorite entertainers and no entertainer of that era was bigger than Kate Smith.  Kate was also patriotic. It hurt her to see Americans so depressed and afraid of what the next day would bring. She had hope for America , and faith in her fellow Americans. She wanted to do something to cheer them up, so she went to the famous American songwriter Irving Berlin and asked him to write a song that would make Americans  feel good again about their country. When she described what she was looking for, he said he had just the song for her. He went to his files and found a song that he had written but never published, 22 years before - in 1917. He gave it to her and she worked on it with her studio orchestra. She and Irving Berlin were not sure how the song would be received by the public, but both agreed they would not take any profits from God Bless America . Any  profits would go to the Boy Scouts of America . Over the years, the Boy Scouts have received millions of dollars in royalties from this song. Back in 1940, when Kate Smith went looking for a song to raise the spirits of  her fellow Americans, I doubt whether she realized just how successful the results would be for her fellow Americans during those years of hardship and worry, as well as for many generations of Americans to follow.  There is no question that over the years God has blessed America and we who are Americans should daily thank Him for that.  However, I am concerned that as this country has drifted away from Him and has often turned its back on His teachings, that His blessing may no longer be on us as a country. And that is tragic and sad.  I pray that somehow, as we drift from His foundation, that we may have a revival and return to Him before it is too late.

God bless America, land that I love
Stand beside her and guide her
Through the night with the light from above
From the mountains to the prairies
To the oceans white with foam
God bless America, my home sweet home

From the mountains to the prairies
To the oceans white with foam
God bless America, my home sweet home
God bless America, my home sweet home

In 1976 we used this song in one of the Bible school series that our family presented in various churches and conferences.  At that time we added another verse that we thought was profound and needed.  Unfortunately, I don't know who penned these words.

God wake America, land that I love. 
Start in me Lord, to be Lord,
One whose life proves that God lives above.
Bring salvation to our nation, 
that each one will hear and heed,
God save America, I humbly plead.
 God save America, I humbly plead!

Now here is the video of Kate Smith introducing this song for the first time on the radio.    KATE SMITH
Here is another presentation of this song.   LISTEN

Sunday, June 24, 2018

BLESSINGS

          In this blog I usually share old hymns of the faith, many of which were written several decades or even centuries ago.  But sometimes my heart is touched by one of the newer songs.  This week I've chosen to share one of these which was written just a few years ago.  Laura Story came on the gospel music scene around 2004 when she wrote "Indescribable" which was recorded by Chris Tomlin.  In 2008 she won a Dove Award for inspirational album and she earned two consecutive nominations for Female Vocalist of the Year.  But amidst this success a brain tumor hospitalized her husband in 2006 and the faith she had written and sung about was tested through the unexpected fires of fear and loneliness.  She watched him being kept alive by breathing machines and and going through significant postoperative vision and memory loss.  But this experience is what led her to pen the beautiful, meaningful words of "Blessings".  Here is what she said about the message behind this song.  "The song shows that we still have more questions than answers. But there's a decision that I find God is asking us to make. Are we going to judge God based on our circumstances, or are we going to choose to interpret our circumstances based on what we hold to be true about God?   Our circumstances have magnified the blessing of marriage. As high school sweethearts, we faced the strong chance that our long-awaited marriage bond might last just two years. Once you've rallied through a life-threatening illness together, the rest of it is like a surprise; every day is a new gift that might not have been there. It's not as big a deal now if he leaves his socks on the floor.  The words of James 1:2 "Consider it a great joy … whenever you experience various trials" - ring especially true and duly influence the joyful, wisdom-loving tone throughout "Blessings."    Don't get the wrong idea. It hasn't been easy. Everyone wants to be a mature and equipped follower, but would I have signed up had I known what it would take? God has grown us up, deepened our faith, our awareness of our great need for Him as a Savior, daily. We knew it before, but we didn't see it."  She goes on to add, "This is a good place to be. Life is filled with things you don't expect, but the Bible tells us to respond by trusting God and continuing to worship Him. Martin hasn't received complete healing, and that can be hard when we view God as all-powerful and all-loving. But here we are now saying, "Yes, this is how faith works. God has proven to be faithful."   We have been truly blessed out of a circumstance that at first didn't seem like much of a blessing at all. God is love. He tells us so repeatedly in the Bible. Yet sometimes it doesn't feel like He loves us. What if we pray for our loved ones to make it through, but they pass away before we even say goodbye? What if we pray for our children to grow up healthy but instead we watch them suffer a life-threatening illness? What if we pray for that little extra money to make ends meet, but we end up losing our home?   It's devastating when we don't see God's answers to our prayers. "We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near." What if the very thing that is best for us isn't the same as what we're praying for? All the while, God hears each spoken need. He loves us way too much to give us lesser things. God is watching over always, directing every moment we experience. So if He isn't answering our prayers how we think He should, does that mean He isn't answering? Or could it be something else? Could it possibly be that He's really blessing us?"  What a powerful testimony and song.  There is nothing I can add to what she has shared.  So let me encourage you to meditate upon these words this week as you thank God for His dealings in your life.


We pray for blessings, we pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
And all the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things
Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise?

We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear
And we cry in anger when we cannot feel you near
We doubt your goodness, we doubt your love
As if each promise from Your Word is not enough
And all the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we'd have faith to believe
Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise?

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win, we know
That pain reminds this hearts,
That this is not, this is not our home…
Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise?

What if my greatest disappointments,
Or the aching of this life,
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can't satisfy.
What if trials of this life,
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are your mercies in disguise?

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