i have had this hymn in my head all day long, and i think you should too.
i hope that you wont just skip over this post, simply because it is a cut and pasted song. take a good 5 minutes to read through it slowly, and allow it to speak to your heart.
i have left some more thoughts at the bottom after the song.

O Love that Will Not Let Me Go
Words: George Matheson.
1. O Love that will not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in thee;
I give thee back the life I owe,
That in thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.
2. O light that followest all my way,
I yield my flickering torch to thee;
My heart restores its borrowed ray,
That in thy sunshine’s blaze its day
May brighter, fairer be.
3. O Joy that seekest me through pain,
I cannot close my heart to thee;
I trace the rainbow through the rain,
And feel the promise is not vain,
That morn shall tearless be.
4. O Cross that liftest up my head,
I dare not ask to fly from thee;
I lay in dust life’s glory dead,
And from the ground there blossoms red
Life that shall endless be.

one of the many things, that makes this song so amazing and penetrating is the fact that its author, george mathison was born with poor vision, and eventually went almost totally blind.
of this song he wrote:

My hymn was com­posed in the manse of In­ne­lan [Ar­gyle­shire, Scot­land] on the ev­en­ing of the 6th of June, 1882, when I was 40 years of age. I was alone in the manse at that time. It was the night of my sister’s mar­ri­age, and the rest of the fam­i­ly were stay­ing over­night in Glas­gow. Some­thing hap­pened to me, which was known only to my­self, and which caused me the most se­vere men­tal suf­fer­ing. The hymn was the fruit of that suf­fer­ing.

he went on to say that it only took five minutes to write the hymn, and that after that five minutes, he neither edited it or retouched it in any way.
born with what most would consider a good excuse to coast through life with everyone doing everything for him, he pressed on, harder than most with sight. even though he could not see,he learned, among other things, latin and hebrew. he did not allow himself to throw away the joy of pursuing intimacy with the lord.
i dare say, most of us could never come close to expressing our need for our god as beautifully and boldly as george matheson did in this song. he may have been blind, but he obviously saw his need for the lord much more clearly than those of us blinded by our sight and self-emancipation.
what are things in our life that we embrace with self-pity and give ourselves “excuse” for our lack of communion with the lord? too busy? bible too hard to read? prayer too boring?
how dare we be so arrogant to live as though we can function on our own without the constant nourishment and fellowship that we need. to be too busy, or offer anyother excuse is to stare at god and tell him “you sir, are not necessary for me to live my life, much less for me to be fulfilled!”
dare we admit to ourselves that we have been that bold, and that conceited, and that sinful?
praise be to our father and jesus christ his son, that despite our rebellion and self-centeredness that he never lets us, his children, go.

i pray that each day we awake with a fresh understanding of giving back to him, the life we owe, that we would yield the flickering torch of our lives to him, and lay in the dust any glory but that of our lord’s.

blessings,
-stephen

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