What makes Hymns a True Treasure?
Most hymns have inspiring stories behind them which make them quite thought-provoking and captivating. The story behind a hymn hold strong messages that must not be forgotten. Unfortunately, the stories are usually lost in the passage of time, while the songs remain to live among us.
Here are a few handpicked hymns that have some poignant stories behind them. There is great meaning when we sing the songs knowing what went behind each word.
Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus
I never really understood the depth of this song till I came across the story behind it.
The song writer, Louisa M. Stead, her husband and her child went for a picnic one day. While having a happy family time, they heard cries from somewhere close and they witnessed a boy drowning in the rushing waters. Louisa M. Stead, along with her daughter, watched her husband drown as he tried to save the little boy. This picnic time on Long Islands turned into a real misery. The death of her husband left her helpless and poor. But nothing stopped her from trusting Jesus. She learnt to trust him more and more and so this song.
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
O for grace to trust him more!
The song was an anthem to the African-American community especially during the Civil Rights Movements. Ironically, the song was written by a slave trader – John Newton, who had earlier denounced his faith. It was during a terrible storm that Newton experienced the mercy of God. Thus began his conversion experience. Soon, he left his job as a slave trader and went to study Christian theology."Amazing Grace" was written to for a sermon on New Year's Day of 1773. It was in 1835 that the tune "New Britain" was attached to this well-known hymn.
'tis grace that brought me safe thus far,
and grace will lead us home.
It is well with my soul
Horatio G. Spaffford was a devout Christian and a successful businessman. As a young and flourishing businessman, not everything went well with him. During the Chicago fire, he lost quite a large fortune that he had earned. The next tragedy that struck him was that of his son who died of pneumonia.
Years later in November 1873, Spafford planned a trip to Europe for his family. But something unexpected came up and so he could not join his daughters and wife on this trip. On the 22nd of November, the ship was struck by the Lochearn, an English vessel. The ship sunk and a few people lost their lives including Spafford’s daughters. Spafford wrote this song when he was close to the same location in the sea where the ship went down with his daughters.
Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.
How great thou art
Vernon Spencer started his music career at a local bar in Oklohoma. He enjoyed music so much that he decided to leave to Hollywood in 1931 to make it big.
His stage name was Tim Spencer, with which he became quite popular. He started playing music along with Roy Rogers and the Sons of the Pioneers. They became quite a renowned band in America. Tim married Velma, a devout Christian who constantly prayed for her husband.
One day, when he was in Pennsylvania, Tim found a letter from his wife which had a verse from the scripture. This provoked him to open the bible and read. The Lord worked in him and he realised he needed change.This was how he moved on from his way of life and started his walk with God.
He started a Gospel Music publishing company called Manna Music. One day his son brought home a song. Tim got in touch with the song author and he published the song. The song became one of the most popular Christian hymns because of its powerful lyrics that declare how great God is.
Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee:
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!