A couple weeks back I happened to see some hymn-themed greeting cards from one of my favorite places to find Christian gifts – Dayspring.com. I thought of all of you fellow hymn-lovers, but am just now getting around to sharing these with you.
It's really for the best anyway, because Dayspring is currently having their annual Customer Appreciation Sale with 25% off of everything, including clearance! Just use the promo code THANKYOU .
To be completely above board, I am an affiliate for Dayspring and would make a small commission off any purchases you make. I don't feel too bad doing that because it does help pay for the upkeep of HymnsIllustrated.com.
Here's a closer look at those greeting cards (just love these!). Just click on the image if you'd like to shop the sale and see the product a little closer.
Earlier this week, I posted an Instagram quote with words from an old revival hymn that sometimes make me teary-eyed when they go through my head. The word are simple: "Rejoice! For the Lord brings back His own!"
The whole song is based on the words of Jesus in Luke 15.
Well, of course, this touches my heart and no doubt touches your heart, too. He once laid me on His shoulders and rejoiced at my salvation! There was joy in heaven then as there is always joy in heaven over repenting sinners. He still rejoices every time I repent, because all though my sins are paid for, I still forget that and have to turn around to continue on the right path.
I will never grow tired of the imagery of Jesus as my good Shepherd.
So I thought I would take the time here to share some of the backstory of the hymn, too.
And I'm going to cheat a little and copy and paste the story from Hymntime.com (this link will take you to the complete text of the hymn, too). My time is running a little short today, but I wanted to share with you before the weekend.
"In Fergus, Ontario, Canada, lies the body of the man for whom was written the hymn The Ninety and Nine...[George] Clephane, who was known as a remittance man, came to Canada to try farming about the year 1842. His efforts at farming were not a success, a failure which led to indulgence in strong drink. The habit grew with his despondency, and during one of these bouts, while living with a medical doctor friend at Fergus, he died.
This past weekend when I was holding my baby niece, walking around and bouncing her to quiet her down, I sang a stanza of the hymn to her and decided it makes a very nice lullaby to the babies in your life if you want to give it a try.
It's a message for both the young and old.
Last year, for our anniversary, my husband John and I stayed at beautiful Pawley's Island, South Carolina for a long weekend. On one occasion, we walked into the ocean with the goal of riding the waves. John held my hand and each time a wave would come toward us, he would shout "Jump!" at precisely the right moment. We then jumped up with the rising wave and came back down as the wave went down. We were in sync with the rhythm of the waves.
Then it was my turn to shout "Jump!" and due to my long-suffered rhythm issues, the jumps didn't always go too well. John still jumped at the right moment instinctively, but I often jumped a second too late, getting caught in the middle of the wave, gagging on salt water afterward. Apparently I was supposed to have my mouth closed, too, but that was way too much to remember!
Horatio Spafford in his hymn, "It Is Well with My Soul," described life's sorrows using the metaphor of ocean waves.
When peace, like a river, attends my way, when sorrows like sea billows roll, whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say, "It is well, it is well with my soul."
What an apt description! Sorrows, just like sea billows, often seem to come from out of nowhere and loom over us. Even when we do all we can to prepare for the jump, they still manage to overwhelm us in their flood and those salty tears are just plain inevitable.
I'm glad John was there to hold my hand during my attempted wave rides. It's unlikely I would have been physically harmed under his watch. God is always there in our sorrows, too, assuring us with His truth that no sorrow can truly drown our souls.
The blood-bought soul is safe and well, looking forward to eternal life with God Himself, where no evil or sorrows will ever threaten us again. The joy of this truth triumphs over all sorrow, even when it comes in tidal waves.
~ Kristen I.