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Text Illustrations
Illustration of George Matheson, as recorded in Max Lucado’s book 3:16, Numbers of Hope.


Main Idea: People lose love, God loves always


“Matheson was only a teenager when doctors told him he was going blind. Not to be denied, he pursued his studies, graduating from the University of Glasgow in 1861 at the age of 19. By the time he finished graduate seminary studies, he was sightless.


His fiancée returned his engagement ring with a note: “I cannot see my way clear to go through life bound by the chains of marriage to a blind man.”


Matheson never married. He adapted to his sightless world but never recovered from his broken heart. He became a powerful and poetic pastor, led a full and inspiring life. Yet occasionally the pain of his unrequited affection flared up, as it did decades later at his sister’s wedding. The ceremony brought back memories of the love he had lost. In response, he turned to the unending love of God for comfort and penned these words to our familiar hymn on June 6, 1882:


O love that wilt not let me go, I rest my weary soul in thee; I give thee back the life I owe, that in Thine ocean depths its flow may richer, fuller be.”