Abide with me . . !

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THANK God for hymn writers! In the year gone by I have sought solace from the hymns of yore, playing them again and again, and the hymn I must have sung, listened to and embraced, more than a hundred times was, ‘Abide With Me.’

Fickle are the affections of men and women. We feel so often that a smile, a hug, a letter from someone we love can sustain us through the day, a week, a year, but how soon that hug turns to a slap, that smile into a leer and a love letter into a note of rejection. Love turns to hate in a jiffy, tenderness to violence in the twinkling of an eye, soft endearments to spiteful words in a few seconds.

Such is the fickleness of human relationships. But the hug of God is everlasting, His words are the same yesterday, today and forever, and his attitude to us, constant, whatever our moods. And to this God did I turn, asking him again and again to abide with me. And he did and he does.

‘Abide with me’ says the songwriter, ‘fast falls the eventide’. Oh yes, Lord how often the night brings it’s own set of fears and sadness, for relationships gone sour, friendships gone bust, but when you stay close to me, the hurt from those broken connections, hurt no more, and sadness turns to joy as the closeness of you, my heavenly father, heals all bitterness.

‘I fear no foe with thee at hand to bless,” And my thoughts stray to the Israelites of old who stood again and again against armies that far outnumbered them, and yet, again and again, they were victorious!

They must have been afraid, till they were reminded by their kings, their leaders and prophets that there was no need to fear the foe, however mighty or Goliath like he looked, because the Lord Jehovah was on their side. I have played that line many times, and felt the power of a mighty victorious God making mincemeat of my opponents.

‘I need Thy presence every passing hour!’ Yes Lord, not for a moment do I not need to hear your footsteps next to mine, not a moment can I bear, not feeling your gentle breath on me. Not once in a day, not for fleeting moments, but every second of my journey through life, walk, talk with me my God, and let me feel your divine overwhelming presence in every thought, word, every action I make.

‘Hold Though Thy cross before my closing eyes!’ Ah the thought, that because of His cross, I can close my eyes and know my Lord and Master that I join you in that home you have prepared for me, what better thought before I leave this earth, what better thought than for me to ask, ‘Where is death’s sting, where grave thy victory?’

Thank you Lord for inspiring writers to pen such powerful messages that fortify, strengthen, yet quieten us. Yes Lord, I triumph still if Thou wilt abide with me..!

 

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