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HYMN STORY: O LOVE THAT WILL NOT LET ME GO BY GEORGE MATHESON


George Matheson was only fifteen when he was told that he was losing what little eyesight he had. Instead of giving up, Matheson immediately continued with his plans to enroll in the University of Glasgow, and his determination lead to his graduation at age nineteen. But as he pursued graduate studies in theology for Christian ministry, he finally lost his sight. His sisters joined ranks beside him, learning Greek and Hebrew to assist him in his studies. He pressed faithfully on.


But his spirit collapsed when his fiancée, unwilling to be married to a blind man, broke their engagement and returned his ring. He never married, and the pain of that rejection never totally left him. Years later, as a well-loved preacher in Scotland, his sister came to him announcing her engagement. He rejoiced with her, but his mind went back to his own heartache. He consoled himself in thinking of God’s love which is never limited, never conditional, never withdrawn, and never uncertain. Out of this experience he wrote the hymn, O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go.


O love that will not let me go,

I rest my weary soul in thee;

I give thee back the life I owe,

That in thine ocean depths it flow

May richer, fuller be.


Human love is very uncertain and I am sure all of us here today have experienced rejection at some point in our lives. Like George Matheson we need to learn to lean on and trust God’s perfect love. His love is our hope and our goal. Being a Christian means that we learn to love like Jesus.


(From a sermon by Stephen Sheane, What is Love, 2/15/2011)

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