May this hymn remind us to consider thankfulness in every area of our lives!
O Thou, whose bounty fills my cup
With every blessing meet!
I give Thee thanks for every drop—
The bitter and the sweet.
I praise Thee for the desert road,
And for the riverside;
For all Thy goodness hath bestowed,
And all Thy grace denied.
I thank Thee for both smile and frown,
And for the gain and loss;
I praise Thee for the future crown,
And for the present cross.
I thank Thee for the wing of love,
Which stirred my worldly nest;
And for the stormy clouds which drove
The flutterer to Thy breast.
I bless Thee for the glad increase,
And for the waning joy;
And for this strange, this settled peace,
Which nothing can destroy.
-Words: Jane F. Crewdson, Lays of the Reformation, 1860.
Music: Belmont, Sacred Melodies, by William Gardiner, 1812
“In the Christian understanding of reality, what we see on earth is just the first few moments of life – just the birthing process; the vast majority of life will be spent in an eternity with no more pain or suffering.” — Vince Vitale re “The Problem of Suffering & the Goodness of God”
Sorrow is inescapable as long as death and sin are in this world. There are times when you are very clear on the source of your pain, but there are also other times when pain is an inexplicable melancholy that settles upon you. You do not know why and you cannot explain it. We all experience times of sorrow at one point or another. The only question is how to deal with it.
Scripture doe guide us as we work through our distress. The theme of sorrow is woven throughout the pages of the Holy Book. While every biblical figure dealt with the issue to one extent or another, I always come back to the story of Job who I see as the classic example.
Despite feelings of intense pain, Job remained faithful to his Lord as he struggled to understand why devastating events had besieged him. “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I shall return there. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.” (Job 1:21) He tells his wife in 2:10, “’Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?’ In all this Job did not sin with his lips.”
The Psalms do also bring great comfort. Draw near to the Lord; He is your shelter: “He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler. You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day.” (Psalm 91:4-5 NKJV)
Follower of Jesus Christ can be reassured by His word to us in John 14:1-3. “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to myself, that where I am, there you may be also.”
Revelation 21:3-5 says that “the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”
Let us proclaim along with Job, “As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last He will take His stand on the earth.” (Job 19:25-26)
Jesus Christ is our Hope and our Redeemer; He will make all things new. Praise be to our God! The poem and later hymn written by Jane Crewdson in 1860 is a good conclusion.
About the Hymn Writer!
Crewdson, Jane, the daughter of George Fox, was born at Perraw, Cornwall, England, in October, 1809, and was married to Thomas Crewdson, of Manchester, in 1836. She was always delicate and fragile in health. Toward the close of her life, it is said that she became a confirmed sickling and bed ridden and suffered a lot. However, it was during this period of hardship that most of her hymns were written.
Jane Crewdon died at Summerlands, near Manchester, September 14, 1863, “leaving behind her the memory of a beautiful Christian life and many admirable verses.
She truly learned in suffering what she taught in song. Her husband wrote beautifully of her:
“As a constant sufferer, the spiritual life deepening and the intellectual life retaining all its power, she became well prepared to testify as to the all-sufficiency of her Saviour’s love. Many felt that her sick room was the highest place to which they could resort for refreshment of spirit and even for mental recreation. From that apartment came many a letter of earnest sympathy or of charming playfulness.”
Jane Crewdon published anonymously several small volumes of poetry, and the year after her death a book of her poems was published under the title:
A Little While and Other Poems, 1864. A verse, written just before she died, titled “During Sickness,” is a gem worthy of immortality:
- Saviour, I have naught to plead
- In earth beneath or heaven above,
- But just my own exceeding need
- And thy exceeding love:
- The need will soon be past and gone,
- Exceeding great but quickly o’er;
- The love, unbought, is all Thine own,
- And lasts for evermore.
- Thou, whose bounty fills my cup 531