Saturday, August 03, 2013

Leaning On the Everlasting Arms

I love the ease of running to my favorite restaurants to get supper. When our kids were young I cooked good old fashioned, rib sticking meals for them. My mother cooked the same way. Lots of butter, flour, shortening, eggs, cream. You know good hearty comfort food.

I love the quick meals of today, but sometimes I just want to sit at my mother’s table and enjoy her wonderful preparations all laid out in beautiful form with the smells wafting throughout the house. Her good old-fashioned cooking was indeed comforting.

I love Christian radio. I love the modern songs and especially praise and worship. But there are just times when I need a good old fashioned hymn. Often they will come to mind at just the right moment. Just the other day, as I listened to a friend pour her heart out about troubles, “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms” came to my mind. I shed tears, for my friend and because that song is so reassuring and so beautiful in the midst of the alarms of life.

In 1887, a man named Anthony Showalter was leading a singing school. When he got back to his room one night, he had heard from two of his former students. Both men told of the recent loss of their wives. He wrote back, hoping to comfort those young widowers in the midst of their grief. When he came to the end of each letter, he wanted to include a Bible verse. He picked Deuteronomy 33:27, “The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms ….” God spoke to his heart and gave him the chorus and Leaning on the Everlasting Arms was written. Born of the sorrowful sympathy of his students, God spoke and the song has remained a comfort in times of trouble and sorrow.

You and I will go through things. They will be hard; they will be almost overwhelming at times. We will feel as though we are sinking and will never be able to breathe again. But we do. Because we are leaning on the Everlasting Arms we will come up again. And when we do, we can share those things with others so that they too will be comforted.

Next time you hear an old hymn, remember, there is almost always a beautiful story behind the words. And always remember that your story will be a beautiful message of God’s faithful love, redeeming grace and infinite care. Don’t think for one moment that you are ever out of your Father’s loving care.

Oh beloved, listen to God as He speaks His Words over your heart and mind. The Bible is no mere book of inspiration but it is God breathed and your greatest source of comfort. Remember also the hymns as their writers expound the Word of God to you. You can trust the Lord, you can know with assurance that “His Eye is On the Sparrow” whenever you feel discouraged, that you have “Blessed Assurance” because Jesus is yours. Others may have left you, troubles may surround you but you can rely on God’s Word to restore you, redeem you, strengthen you and bless you. You are not a mere human muddling through this life of woe. You are an overcomer, you can sing Victory in Jesus, because He is your Savior forever.

God loves you and He bought you with His Redeeming Blood. Because of His Agape love, He will never leave you or forsake you and that’s all that will really matter when we all get to heaven.

Deuteronomy 33:27 The eternal God is a dwelling place, And underneath are the everlasting arms; And He drove out the enemy from before you, And said, 'Destroy!'

Psalm 71:3 Be my rock of safety where I can always hide. Give the order to save me, for You are my rock and my fortress.

Matthew 10:29 What is the price of two sparrows—one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it.

Colossians 2:2-3 that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

Psalm 37:18 Day by day the Lord takes care of the innocent, and they will receive an inheritance that lasts forever.

Psalm 121:2-4 My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth!  He will not let you stumble; the one who watches over you will not slumber.  Indeed, He who watches over Israel
never slumbers or sleeps.

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