As you have probably noticed, I was not in the office this morning! I am actually traveling. My wife graduated in December of 2016 but is walking in the ceremony tomorrow. So, we are in Iowa for the weekend!
If you missed yesterday’s hymn you can check that out here: Hymn of the Day: Pensive, Doubting, Fearful Heart.
Today’s hymn is another classic, at least for me! I love the tune, although some would argue it does not fit the somber message of the words. James Rowe wrote the words and Howard E. Smith composed the music to Love Lifted Me.
“Howard E. Smith was a church organist who composed a number of hymn tunes, including the one used for Love Lifted Me. The words for this song were written by James Rowe, and his daughter describes for us how the two men worked on it:
Howard E. Smith was a little man whose hands were so knotted with arthritis that you would wonder how he could use them at all….I can see them now, my father striding up and down, humming a bar or two, and Howard E. playing it and jotting it down.” – Robert Cottrill
I was sinking deep in sin, far from the peaceful shore,
Very deeply stained within, sinking to rise no more;
But the Master of the sea heard my despairing cry,
From the waters lifted me, now safe am I.
Take a listen to this wonderful hymn. I grew up listening to Alan Jackson. Certainly one of the better country singers. I am not a huge fan of country music, but singers like Alan Jackson, Johnny Cash, and George Strait were ones I could listen to! So, here is Alan Jackson singing Love Lifted Me.
He only sings 2 out of the 3 stanzas, but still a great recording!
There seems to be a clear connection to Matthew 14 where Peter goes out on the water to meet the Lord, but he begins to doubt and sink. Then, the Lord comes to his aid and pulls him up to safety. Another Scripture reference for this hymn might be from the Psalms.
Psalm 40:1–2 (ESV)
1 I waited patiently for the Lord;
he inclined to me and heard my cry.
2 He drew me up from the pit of destruction,
out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock,
making my steps secure.