In two previous posts, I asked how singing can be edifying to the church and offered one example of how we have attempted to make singing more edifying by attaching the lyrics of the songs to our lives. (See my posts “Each one has a hymn” and “Each one has a hymn: Singing for edification.”) In the next few posts, I’m going to share some examples of songs that have been shared in our gatherings over the last few weeks.
One morning, one of our brothers asked us to sing a song by Keith Getty and Margaret Becker called “Jesus Draw Me Ever Nearer (May This Journey).” This is a fairly new hymn (from 2002), and I did not know it.
But, my friend shared that he had been struggling with trusting God lately, and this song kept coming to mind as a prayer to God during those tough times. These are the words that we sang together:
Jesus draw me ever nearer
As I labour through the storm.
You have called me to this passage,
and I’ll follow, though I’m worn.
May this journey bring a blessing,
May I rise on wings of faith;
And at the end of my heart’s testing,
With Your likeness let me wake.
Jesus guide me through the tempest;
Keep my spirit staid and sure.
When the midnight meets the morning,
Let me love You even more.
Let the treasures of the trial
Form within me as I go –
And at the end of this long passage,
Let me leave them at Your throne.
Knowing that God had used this song in my brother’s life, that he had sung it personally as a prayer for God to strengthen his faith, and that he had shared it with us in order to encourage us to trust God helped us all to focus on the words as we sang them.
After we sang, and really throughout the time that we were gathered together, people continued to refer back to the words of the song and our friend’s confession that he was struggling with trusting God. In fact, other shared about their own struggles trusting God.
As we turned to Scripture, we continually saw the theme of trusting God pop up in our conversations, which again reminded us of our brother’s song request.
If he had not shared how God had used this song in his own life, the lyrics would not have been as meaningful to us as a community. Not only did we understand better about what was going on with our brother, we could also see how God was working in his life to strengthen and encourage him, then using him in the same way in our lives.