I have been looking in my hymn book this morning trying to find the song “How Tedious and Tasteless the Hours” and I can’t find it so if I get some of the words wrong, please forgive me. This is how I sing it:
‘How tedious and tasteless the hours when Jesus no longer I see; Sweet prospects sweet birds and sweet flowers have all lost their sweetness to me. The midsummer sunshines but dim, the fields strive in vain to look gay, but when I am happy in Him, December is as pleasant as May.
His Name yields the richest perfume, and sweeter than music His Voice; His Presence disperses my gloom, and makes all within me rejoice! I should were He always thus nigh, have nothing to wish or to fear; no mortal so happy as I; My Summer would last all the year!
Content with beholding His Face, my all to His Pleasure resign; No changes of season or place, would make any change in my mind. While blessed with a sense of His Love, a palace a toy would appear; And prisons would palaces prove, if Jesus would dwell with me there.
Dear Lord, if indeed I am thine, if thou art my sun and my song, say why do I anguish and pine, and why are my Winters so long? Lord, drive these dark clouds from my skies, thy soul-cheering presence restore; Or take me unto thee on high, where Winters and clouds are no more!”
I can’t tell you how many times I have turned to this song and found comfort because it takes me back to what really matters. This world can be so encumbered by strife and vain cares and pursuits, but for the Christian, all of life is supposed to be about loving and serving our Savior. When we take our eyes, our focus, off of Jesus we lose sight of our life’s purpose and we disconnect from the source of all hope and all strength that is to be our’s in Him. I’ve done this myself so many times. I’ve struggled with deep depression and sadness and have fallen into the false belief of defeat in my life, when in reality I am “more than a conqueror” in Jesus Christ. All that befalls me here in this world is only temporary and can be used for good because I love the Lord and I am called according to His purposes (Romans). How wonderful are the promises of God! How sure is our reward in Him!
When you find yourself despairing, remember to return to The One who is able to do all things exceedingly abundantly above that which we can ask or think to ask (Betwixt the lids, I’ll explain in a moment 🙂 His ways are higher than our ways, and His thoughts are above our thoughts! Mighty and able is He! (More from The Word)
Now, as to my reference of betwixt the lids…I had a great uncle who was raised by a Baptist Preacher and was well versed in the Scriptures, yet he had a terrible addiction to alcohol for most of his life. Amazingly, even after years and years of alcoholism, rebellion, and failure to walk in the Lord, he was still able to quote the Bible to the letter. However, he could no longer give chapter and verse so when asked “where is that in the Bible?” He would answer “it’s betwixt the lids!” By the way, he had quite an authoritative voice 🙂
Thankfully, I haven’t succumbed to the allure of alcohol, but I still have great difficulty giving chapter and verse to accompany the Words of Scripture that readily come to my mind. So I fondly recall the response my poor old uncle would give when finding himself in the same predicament.
An important note…in the final years of his life, he returned to the teachings of his youth and lived out his last days sober and humble. I hurt for his family that lost so much as a result of his many years of life lived in rebellion, but I thank our Precious Lord for HIs abundant Mercy and Grace that was there to embrace my uncle when he came in repentance to the cross of Christ. If not for that same cross, I along with my great uncle would be forever lost in sin.
So as we go through this beautiful weekend, may we all remember the grace that holds us and the love that keeps us forever in the heart of God!