Saturday, April 24, 2010

Hide Thou Me

I know I’m not alone when I quote this phrase from a favorite old gospel hymn, Hide Thou Me:

Sometimes I feel discouraged,
and I think my work’s in vain.
I’m tempted oft(en) to murmur,
to grumble and complain.

Sound familiar? Life can be so hard sometimes, can’t it? And, it can be just as hard to refrain from grumbling and complaining about it. This phrase has been on my mind more times than I can count, especially during these past few months. But, thankfully, this is not how it has to end. The next phrase of the song says:

But, then I think of Jesus and all He’s done for me.
Then I cry, “Oh, Rock of Ages, hide Thou me.”

God never said we would be exempt from difficult times. However, He did promise to be with us every step of the way. So, instead of complaining about WHY life is so hard, and WHY God hasn’t eased our discomfort, we should be taking refuge in Him, allowing Him to shelter us from the storms. It is only then that peace will come from within. 

Psalm 18:2 - The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

There are many hymns that have been written around the Lord being our rock. The traditional hymn Rock of Ages was written by Augustus M. Toplady in 1776, when he took refuge among some limestone rocks in England, during a violent thunderstorm. He was the author of several different hymns, but Rock of Ages seems to have been the most popular of them all.

Rock of Ages, cleft for me
Let me hide myself in Thee.

Click here for the tune, lyrics, and more info on this hymn:

Later in the 1800's, Fanny Crosby, another popular hymn writer, wrote the first version of Hide Thou Me, which also talks about our refuge in the “Rock of Ages.”

In Thy cleft, O Rock of Ages, hide Thou me!
When the fitful tempest rages, hide Thou me!
Where no mortal arm can sever
From my heart Thy love forever,
Hide me, O Thou Rock of Ages, safe in Thee!

Click here for the tune, lyrics, and more info on this hymn:
HIDE THOU ME - Fanny Crosby

In 1926, another version of Hide Thou Me (mentioned at the start) was written by L.R. Tolbert and Thoro Harris. I had a difficult time finding information around this song, but did find it has been recorded by several musical artists throughout the years, including Elvis Presley, The Cathedrals, Iris Dement, The Melody Boys Quartet, and many others. My guess is it’s because people can relate to this song in a personal way. It lets us know we are not alone in feeling discouraged, but also gives us hope and reassurance during the trials we face.

The version of Hide Thou Me which I have enjoyed the most over these past few months is sung by The Gaither Vocal Band from their album, “I Do Believe.” This video below shows them singing the hymn with great harmony and passion. Enjoy!
 


2 comments:

  1. It was your reference to "Rock of Ages" and Augustus Toplady that caught my eye this morning, since today is the 236th anniversary of his death. His great hymn continues to be as relevant to our soul's need as it was the day he penned it.

    If you'd like to read more about how the song came to be written, and see a picture of the rock that inspired it, I invite you to check out my daily blog on hymns for today, Wordwise Hymns. God bless.

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  2. Thanks for your note, Robert! If anyone is interested, here is the website Robert was talking about: http://wordwisehymns.com/

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