"He Leadeth Me"
He leadeth me, O blessed thought!
O words with heav'nly comfort fraught!
Whate'er I do, where'er I be
Still 'tis God's hand that leadeth me.
He leadeth me, He leadeth me,
By His own hand He leadeth me;
His faithful follower I would be,
For by His hand He leadeth me.
Sometimes mid scenes of deepest gloom,
Sometimes where Eden's bowers bloom,
By waters still, over troubled sea,
Still 'tis His hand that leadeth me.
Lord, I would place my hand in Thine,
Nor ever murmur nor repine;
Content, whatever lot I see,
Since 'tis my God that leadeth me.
And when my task on earth is done,
When by Thy grace the vict'ry's won,
E'en death's cold wave I will not flee,
Since God through Jordan leadeth me.
This song has been on my heart for several days this week as I have seen how much God cares for me though I don't deserve it!! We need God's mercy because we deserve every bit and much more than ever happens to us!! Many times, God is so merciful that we do not even 'reap what we have sown." This week I have seen how much God cares for me...maybe simply because I want with all my heart to please Him in all that I do. Not because of anything I've done!! His mercy and goodness are beyond anything that I can possibly comprehend or imagine.
After having this song on my mind for the past few days, I finally found the time to look it up...but I was too lazy to look for it in a hymn book, so stumbled upon the story behind this precious song. Joseph Gilmore wrote this hymn when he was a fairly young man after graduating from university and theological school. He had been preaching on the Twenty-Third Psalm but he did not get further than the words, "He Leadeth Me." After the meeting, a few people were discussing what he had shared. As he talked, he also wrote the words down for this hymn. YES, he was talking AND writing the words down simultaneously. Amazing!!
He handed the words to his wife, who sent it to a paper published in Boston, where it was printed for the first time. This was in 1862, during the Civil War. Later, in 1865 the words were set to music by William Bradbury. Then, Joseph Gilmore was to preach in Rochester, NY. As he walked into the church, he picked up a hymn book to see what they were singing only to find they were singing his own song, "He Leadeth Me!!"
As a wife and mom who has been homeschooling for the past 25 years, how can God lead me?? Is this song important for me as a married woman?? Oh yes!! It is those little things, the words, deeds, and actions (which come out of my thoughts, by the way) that God will lead if we are willing to let Him.
The Holy Spirit has been showing me over the past months how much my thoughts if not brought into His control will affect my actions, emotions, and words...maybe at this point just my tone...hopefully not anything more. Tone...oh how much tone tells on us!!
2 Corinthians 10:5
"Casting down imaginations,
and every high thing
exalteth itself against
the knowledge of God,
bringing into captivity
to the obedience of Christ."
My thoughts can become heavy with concerns (worries??) as I go through my day if I am not careful. How much a song, like "He Leadeth Me" can keep my thoughts on Jesus and lift my eyes heavenward. Writing down the words to a song or a verse or two that spoke to my heart early in the morning, helps to keep my focus on the Lord through the day instead of on my circumstances. If my thoughts spiral downward, those verses and songs can bring my thoughts upward to the Throne of Grace. Grace we don't deserve, yet, is all ours for the asking in God's infinite mercy!!
"He leadeth me
in the paths of righteousness
for his name's sake."
Psalm 23: 3b