Wednesday, June 28, 2017

I Am Thine, O Lord (Draw Me Nearer)

The melody of this hymn has been rolling around inside of my heart and soul for the past several days.  That's the power of hymns that I have grown up with; that they still resonate deep within my spirit just like God's word.  When we hide God's word or music deep inside our hearts, it comes bubbling up to the surface to remind us of the truth that we might be in need of on a particular day or it may just be Holy Spirit ministering to us.

Life gets so busy sometimes and when we want to take time out to relax we find ourselves in front of the television which I know that I, too, find myself doing at times and then regret that the time has been lost and I could have spent it doing something much more relaxing and more profitable.  But God is so gracious in that He offers His grace to forgive us when we do not spend the time with Him that He longs for.  This hymn, which is entitled "I Am Thine, O Lord", actually has four verses, but this musical group "Commissioned" only sing versus one and two.  In verse three the words are:

O the pure delight of a single hour
That before Thy throne I spend,
When I kneel in prayer and with Thee, my God,
I commune as friend with friend.

We know that in order to have a healthy relationship, it is necessary to invest time into that person and so it is the same with our Heavenly Father whom I like to refer to as my Abba Daddy.

I miss that hymns are not regularly used in worship like they were back in the day and I had actually forgotten the name of this hymn but thankfully as I remembered the lyrics from the chorus, Google helped me find my way because my hymnal index was not because the hymn is not actually entitled 'Draw Me Nearer'.

The words of the chorus are beautiful but at the same time messy and even confronting because I do not know about you but when I think of Jesus on the cross and bleeding, I do not actually picture that as beautiful but nevertheless, the writer of this song chose the words "Draw me nearer, nearer, nearer, blessed Lord, To Thy precious bleeding side."  Perhaps to challenge us to create an image in our mind for ourselves; to help us envision how much Jesus really loves us.

I enjoy writing but even as I start to write my mind wanders and thinks of other topics that relate to this one.  For example, it is not unusual to see some form of violence, blood and destruction in the television shows and movies on offer today and perhaps we do not think it is normal, but I believe we have come to expect it as normal.

Now back to the hymn and verse three I referenced earlier.  The verse speaks about having quality time, communing with a friend; that friend being Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit.  Then the chorus has us see Jesus on the cross.  Jesus had been beaten, verbally abused, scarred, bleeding and the Bible says unrecognisable to those that knew Him.   A wee bit different than what most crucifix's I have seen either hanging around someone's neck or on a church or hospital wall.  I believe that it makes us uncomfortable to think of Jesus on the cross and picturing in our mind what that actually looked like.  I remember when Mel Gibson released the movie "The Passion Of The Christ" that showed the final twelve hours of Jesus's life, on the day of His crucifixion.  I personally wanted to go and see the film in the theatre when I had the opportunity to take a public stand for my faith even if it made me uncomfortable.

It is at times when I am going through a trial or a challenge that I believe remembering Jesus Christ on the cross and the horrific pain that He endured on my behalf because of His amazing love for me that helps me to take heart, have courage and depend on Him because I know that Jesus has overcome the world.

Going back to the YouTube clip of this group Commissioned of the song "I Am Thine, O Lord", I am a big fan of harmonies  and these guys do an outstanding job with the chorus.  The group adds their own signature to the melody of the verses which fits for their style.  I had tinkered a bit with this hymn at the piano and found this group's arrangement and closed my eyes and let the beauty of the harmonies wash over me like a blanket that warms me when I feel cold.

The next time you are feeling weary, where will you go to receive strength and comfort?