Hymnlines: “Rock Of Ages”

My soul is quiet and waits for God alone. My hope comes from Him. He alone is my rock and the One Who saves me. He is my strong place. I will not be shaken.  Psalm 62:5-6, NLV

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Sadly, one of God’s kids has lost his battle with life; another unsung hero has fallen. He may not be a hero in the eyes of the world, but he is definitely a hero in ours. A family friend has died way too young. This piece is in honor of him and in honor of yours, if you, too, have recently lost a beloved someone.

Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee;
Let the water and the blood,
From Thy wounded side which flowed,
Be of sin the double cure,
Save from wrath and make me pure.

When I seek comfort, my mind searches through its archives for just the right song, it’s usually an old hymn. An example is “Rock of Ages”. Perhaps you remember it? I know there are versions that change the old language, but I love the original. And I can hear it now . . . being belted out by Vestal Goodman of Southern Gospel fame.

Not the labor of my hands
Can fulfill Thy law’s demands;
Could my zeal no respite know,
Could my tears forever flow,
All for sin could not atone;
Thou must save, and Thou alone.

I am praying and seeking comfort for another family who has just lost their child. It doesn’t matter the cause. It’s just so devastating to have to bury one’s own child! You don’t know this family, but please join me in heart and song or prayer, seeking peace for a family from my community; a family who has been thrust into the midst of a raging storm of pain like no other they have ever encountered.

Dear Heavenly Father,

I come before Your throne asking for You, the Creator of all things and the one who loves us most, please be with all those who mourn, some for years and many more who have just begun their journey into grief. We shudder just thinking about the pain that is so intense it shatters human hearts. But You know this pain and You love us more than any human on earth. Comfort, hold, cry, wipe tears, with these dear families. We long to be reunited with our children once again. Already this family longs to see their precious child again. May it be soon, Lord Jesus. Amen.

Nothing in my hand I bring,
Simply to Thy cross I cling;
Naked, come to Thee for dress;
Helpless, look to Thee for grace;
Foul, I to the fountain fly;
Wash me, Savior, or I die.

The last stanza talks about death. We accept it as the other half of life, but we don’t like it, and in fact, we rebel against it! There are many “if only” and “I should have” statements, but the words fall by the wayside unnoticed. Once again when we hear of yet another young person who will not lived out a full life, we are reminded how very fragile life is.

While I draw this fleeting breath,
When my eyes shall close in death,
When I rise to worlds unknown,
And behold Thee on Thy throne,
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee.

Yes, Lord. Let us hide in You. There is no other safe place. We cling to, rely on, and trust in You alone.

Augustus M. Toplady, preacher and song writer, 1776

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