Everlasting Arms

I woke up this morning with a hymn repeating in my brain.  Does that ever happen to you?  Many mornings I’ll wake up with a song in my head, but it’s not always a hymn or even a Christian song.  So, it had been awhile since I heard this hymn.  Yet, it seemed like the Holy Spirit was positioning my day to begin focused on Him.  That is a great thing, because my flesh doesn’t always see it that way.  God’s grace…pointing me in the right direction that morning.  So the hymn is “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms”.  So appropriate for this little blog of mine.

What a fellowship, what a joy divine,

Leaning on the everlasting arms;

What a blessedness, what a peace is mine,

Leaning on the everlasting arms.

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Oh, how sweet to walk in this pilgrim way,

Leaning on the everlasting arms;

Oh, how bright the path grows from day to day,

Leaning on the everlasting arms.

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Chorus:

Leaning, leaning,

Safe and secure from all alarms;

Leaning, leaning,

Leaning on the everlasting arms.

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(photo by A. Cross)

What have I to dread, what have I to fear,

Leaning on the everlasting arms?

I have blessed peace with my Lord so near,

Leaning on the everlasting arms. 

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“Leaning on the Everlasting Arms” was written by Anthony Showalter in 1887.  He was inspired by Deuteronomy 33:27a, “The eternal God is your dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms.” (ESV) while writing letters to two former students whose wives had died.  Those men were grieving.  They had something to worry about.

The birds and the flowers worry for nothing.  They are safe and secure with nothing to fear.  And His word tells us that we are even more valuable. (paraphrase, Matthew 6:26, ESV)  This song speaks with the words peace, joy, everlasting, safe, sweet and bright.  Those are words that are full of hope.  I want those words to describe my life!  Not chaos, depression, short-lived, alarm, fear, bitter and glum.  Those words do sum up my life some days.  Let me just clear up something before I go on.  I don’t have any happy-go-lucky notions here.  Our lives were not intended to be easy.  Jesus told us we would have troubles. (John 16:33a, ESV)  He quickly follows with “But take heart; I have overcome the world.”  (John 16:33b)  Here it is:  WE CAN LIVE A LIFE THAT EXEMPLIFIES THE ‘GOOD’ WORDS WHILE LIVING IN THIS FALLEN WORLD.   A full life.  Abundant life.  Is it easy?  Uh, no.  I have sought after this for much of my life.  How to have joy when my past seems to be living in the here and now and me not being able to ever fully walk away and continuing to be the victim in the minor, just let it go already occurances.  (More on that another time :))

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The second stanza holds the key.  “Oh, how sweet to walk in this pilgrim way…Oh, how bright the path grows from day to day.”  Day by day, walking the path.  Every day.  Walking with Jesus.  Spending time praying, reading His word, being still in His presence, talking about Him to everyone you meet.  Setting our eyes on Him as soon as we drag ourselves out of bed.  Giving those first fruits of our day to our “Everlasting Arms”.

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