Depending on circumstances, different lyrics from this hymn assume prominence.
When I sense myself drifting, the following verse becomes my prayer:
Let that grace now like a fetter bind my wandering heart to thee: Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love. Here’s my heart, Lord, take and seal it …
When I find myself in times of trouble, a different line serves as a distress call:
He to rescue me from danger …
For the sixth straight week, I have distilled this song and “The Lord’s Prayer” to short, simple prayers:
Rescue us from danger. Deliver us from evil.
This is a time when less is more, because a loved one had one foot, no two … no ALL of him in the grave. Before his fate could be finalized there, he was rescued — ever-so-delicately, ever-so-protectively, ever-so-tenderly — by the hands of our Father. He is held close even now, at God’s breast, cradled with those hands.
I am grateful. I am in awe. And yet, I am dissatisfied …
While I see him in God’s embrace, I haven’t witnessed him set down again on ground far from that awful, rebuffed grave. The destination I believe for him is not here, so near the grave, but far from it — fully alive, healthy, safe, and journeying Earth with no end in sight; he’s too young for his to be ordained by God anytime soon.
I know that credible, responsible medical statistics say his odds are slim, and the path ahead includes any number of pits just like the one he narrowly escaped. It is our challenge to spot and avoid the unending pits, resist their convincing lure; either detour or leap over each; and sustain this forward “Effort For Life” without knowing when and where the next open grave will appear.
So, again today, I pray this particular line in “Come Thy Fount of Every Blessing”, because it is impossible for us to do this alone. The stakes are severe, the consequences of this ultra-marathon are life-and-death. We need our God, the creator of the universe, the giver of all good things, the protector of all … no, we REQUIRE …
He to rescue us from danger.
Update: Two years later, I am no longer dissatisfied. He initially progressed slowly but surely and distanced himself from the awful, rebuffed grave. Since then he is traveling fast and far from it — fully alive, healthy, safe, and journeying Earth with no end in sight. He has a hope and a future.
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Artist: Fernando Ortega singing “Come Thou Fount Of Every Blessing”, from his album, “Beginnings”.