Summary: Something happened to me, which was known only to myself, and which caused me the most severe mental suffering. The hymn was the fruit of that suffering. It was the quickest bit of work I ever did in my life. I had the impression of having it
O Joy That Seeks Me Through Pain (Psa 23:3)
He restores my soul.
George Matheson, a blind Pastor said about his famous hymn:
My hymn was composed in the manse of Innelan [Argyleshire, Scotland] on the evening of the 6th of June, 1882, when I was 40 years of age. I was alone in the manse at that time. It was the night of my sister’s marriage, and the rest of the family were staying overnight in Glasgow. Something happened to me, which was known only to myself, and which caused me the most severe mental suffering. The hymn was the fruit of that suffering. It was the quickest bit of work I ever did in my life. I had the impression of having it dictated to me by some inward voice rather than of working it out myself. I am quite sure that the whole work was completed in five minutes, and equally sure that it never received at my hands any retouching or correction. I have no natural gift of rhythm. All the other verses I have ever written are manufactured articles; this came like a dayspring from on high.
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.
O light that followest all my way,
I yield my flickering torch to thee;
My heart restores its borrowed ray,
That in thy sunshine’s blaze its day
May brighter, fairer be.
O Joy that seekest me through pain,
I cannot close my heart to thee;
I trace the rainbow through the rain,
And feel the promise is not vain,
That morn shall tearless be.
What are some of the ways that the Lord restores us when we are sick, suffering or experiencing hurt?
1. RESTORES - He resupplies all that we need according to His all sufficient grace. Never a sickness that He cannot heal, never a burden that He cannot bear, never a problem that He cannot solve. Moment by moment we are kept by His love with the Spirit’s replacing whatever has been lost due to sickness, distress or hurt.
2. REMEDIES - He knows the best physical, emotional and spiritual medicine that we need to bring us healing. Going through a sickness we need the solid hope that the Lord, as the great Physician, heals the brokenhearted and can make the blind to see again. Ask the Lord for the specific remedy that you need to for whatever is troubling you today.
3. REHABILITATES - He restores us to effectiveness, health and full strength when we are recovering from a time of weakness, adversity or ill health. He retrains our muscles, mind and emotions to know that He allows hardships so that we can become better not bitter. Let us ask the Lord to help us respond to sickness, trials and hardships as Job did, "Though He slay me, yet I will praise Him. The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord."
4. RELIEVES - We can praise God in advance knowing that He has the full capacity to alleviate our pain and deliver us from distress, anxiety and suffering. Without the Lord’s relief we would eventually lose hope and resign our minds to defeat. Let us praise God that He provides relief in His own way, time and dosage.
5. REPLACING - We can praise God that He replaces uncertainty with His certainty through His precious promises. Seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness through the true knowledge of Him who calls us by His own glory and excellence. For by these He has granted us His precious and magnificent promises so that we might become partakers of the divine nature having escaped the corruption that is by lust. (2 Pet 1:3,4) We can praise God that He allows pain to come in to our lives so that we can replace whatever dependencies we might have had with His love, mercy, grace, truth, hope, power, purpose and perspective. He comforts us in all our afflictions so that we can comfort those who are in affliction with the comfort we receive from God. (2 Cor. 1:3,4)
6. RELATIONSHIP DEEPENER - As a result of the pain that He went through Job came in to a much more intimate relationship with the Creator. He said, I know that My Redeemer lives and that He will stand in the latter day upon the earth. Allow the pain, hardship and suffering you are going through to bring you into a more intimate relationship with the Lord so you can increase in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ask the Lord to help the words of the song become your prayer: