Saturday, February 23, 2013

TRUST and OBEY hymn....story behind it

Trust and Obey
John Sammis, 1846-1919
When we walk with the Lord
In the light of his Word,
What a glory he sheds on our way,
While we do his good will
He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.

One night in the mid-1880s, when Dwight L. Moody was preaching in Brockton, Massachusetts, his "team" opened the floor, requesting spontaneous testimonies from the audience.
A nervous young man stood and expressed his doubts and then his intentions: "I am not quite sure-—-but I am going to trust, and I am going to obey."
Hearing such a witness, God wrote that man's name in the Book of Life. Hearing such a genuine faith despite unanswered questions, Moody's musician, Daniel Towner, wrote down the memorable sentence.
Towner mailed the quote and a brief description of its context to his friend John Sammis, who quickly wrote the four-line refrain to "Trust and Obey." Sammis later added the five verses. He mailed the package back to Towner, who came up with the tune.

"Trust and Obey." For several generations of churchgoers, the words were as familiar as a King James motto. And the phrase has become the life-theme of Bruce Miller, of Corning, New York. Fifteen years ago, just as he and his wife were facing the joys and responsibilities of being middle-aged first-time parents, Bruce developed throat cancer. Doctors got that under control. But then melanoma crept up. Spared again. More recently he has survived heart trouble and bypass surgery. And suffered with a puzzling neurological disease that incapacitated his arms and hands.
The second half of life hasn't been easy, and yet Bruce chooses to trust his present and his future to his Lord. Recently, just as Bruce was gearing up to return to his job after his latest ailment, he told me he chose to view life as an "adventure." He went on to tell the story of one particularly difficult stint in the hospital. A social worker came by every day, asking him a round of questions. She named a succession of "feelings" categories, waiting after each word for him to rate how he felt on a scale of one to ten. Happy? Depressed? Tense? Ten meant "couldn't be higher," a realm reserved for the extreme.
"One of the categories was trust," Bruce remembers. And after a week or so, the social worker mused aloud as she scanned Bruce's chart: "When we come to trust, you always give a ten."
Bruce smiled at her and acknowledged that his trust was not in his doctors or their prescriptions but in the Lord whom he had for years chosen to obey.
Not a grief nor a loss,
Not a frown nor a cross,
But is blest if we trust and obey.
Trust and obey,
For there's no other way
To be happy in Jesus,
But to trust and obey.

I wonder if evangelist Dwight L. Moody was thinking of "Trust and Obey" when he wrote this summary of the Christian walk: "The blood [of Christ] alone makes us safe.TheWord alone makes us sure. Obedience [to God]makes us happy." He seems to be addressing the issues at the heart of the new believer's statement: "I am not quite sure—but I am going to trust, and I am going to obey."
"We don't know what became of that young man who inspired a song that still urges believers to trust their Lord and obey his precepts. I choose to believe that after his Brockton experience he saw life as an adventure.
What better way to live-—

For the favor he shows,
And the joy he bestows,
Are for them who will trust and obey.

Lord, I'm not always "quite sure" and yet I choose to trust you with my life. As I walk the path of obedience, fill my heart with joy, eagerly expecting your favor and blessing.

From the book: "Spiritual moments with the Great Hymns" by Evelyn Bence


Keith Hunt