In shady, green pastures, so rich and so sweet
God leads His dear children along
Where the water’s cool flow, bathes the weary one’s feet
He leads His dear children along
Some through the water
Some through the flood
Some through the fire,
But all through the blood.
Some through great sorrow, but God gives a song.
In the night season, and all the day long.
This song was one my father sang for years while travelling in evangelism. I vividly remember him seated at the piano, accompanying himself as he gave testimony about the gracious Shepherd he served.
Life has a funny way of coming full circle at times. Dad’s voice still echoes in my head and heart, but my own voice has taken up this wonderful old song. There have been many days and evenings when I have used this song as a heartfelt prayer and testimony to God and myself. I would sing without instrument. Sing it as a blues ballad when the circumstances of my life seemed to clash with the clear assurance of the song. I sang in hope. I sang tenaciously. I sang in ruthless trust, to borrow a phrase from Brennan Manning. But my voice wouldn’t stop with this one song. I would drift to another old song from Dad’s bag of promise:
Coming down from the Father above.
Sweep over my spirit, forever I pray,
In fathomless billows of love.
My voice would play with the word: Grace. As if my heart would dane to let it go. The sound coming from deep within and soaring high in hope and expectation. Then another simple song would follow:
Day by Day, and with each passing moment,
Strength I find, to meet my trials here.
Trusting in, my Father’s wise bestowment.
I’ve no time for worry, or for fear.
He whose eyes are kind beyond all measure,
Gives to us each day what He deems best.
Lovingly, its part of pain and pleasure,
Mingling toil with peace and rest.
Pain. Pleasure. Toil. Peace. Rest. A balanced life. My heart would then add to the medley:
I care not today, what tomorrow may bring,
If shadow or sunshine or rain.
The Lord, I know, ruleth o’er everything,
And all of my worry is vain.
Living by faith,
In Jesus above.
Trusting, confiding in His great love.
I’m safe from all harm, in His sheltering arm.
I’m living by faith,
And feel no alarm.
These songs were my medley of hope. They brought peace, because I poured out my pain through a deep passionate singing. My voice would traverse over musical pathways coming from my soul. Anyone knowing the songs might not have recognised the melody, because they were coming from a new place in my soul. It has been said that “music hath charms to soothe the savage breast.” I know that to be true.
Life is better, although not always easier. But that’s ok. I still have my medley of promise, and the Writer of the song.