O Love that will not let me go, I rest my weary soul in Thee. I give Thee back the life I owe, that in Thine ocean depths its flow may richer, fuller be.
O Light that followest all my way, I yield my flick’ring torch to Thee. My heart restores its borrowed ray, that in Thy sunshine’s gaze its day may brighter, fairer be.
O Joy that seekest me through pain, I cannot close my heart to Thee. I trace the rainbow through the rain, and feel the promise is not vain, that morn shall tearless be.
O Cross that liftest up my head,I dare not ask to fly from Thee. I lay in dust, life’s glory dead, and from the ground there blossoms red, life that shall endless be.
(George Matheson, 1842-1906)
There is no one like the God of Jeshurun, who rides across the heavens to help you and on the clouds in his majesty. The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms…Blessed are you, Israel! Who is like you, a people saved by the Lord? He is your shield and helper and your glorious sword.
Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn and settle on the far side of the sea, even there. Your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for the darkness is as light to you.
From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve. Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.”
When I am dazzled by the wonders of the world, by its riches and glories, until I nearly forget that they are only a shadow of what is to come, of what you have in store for your chosen ones…O Love, do not let me go.
When I am bewildered by the disintegration of moral order, by the strident voices preaching a gospel of self-determination and individuality at all costs, O Love, do not let me go.
When I am sinking into a rut, losing my zest for the life you daily renew within me; when my appointed tasks seem dull and pointless and I grow weary of persevering, O Love, do not let me go.
When the violence, evil and cruel indifference of the world to the suffering of millions threatens to overwhelm me, and I feel as though the light is going out, O Love, do not let me go.
When the agonies of my family and beloved friends surge up under the feet of faith until I am like to be thrown down into despair and the temptation to abandon my God’s service, O Love, do not let me go.
When my own years of unanswered prayers mock me, when your promises seem empty and vain, when the evil one is lurking close to steal my peace, O Love, do not let me go.
Your love, my God, holds firm through all my storms of anger, fear and disappointment. The tantrums and sulking silences are met equally with the outstretched arms of love that reach from Calvary to measure the immeasurable, to demonstrate the unimagineable depth and breadth of the love of God in Christ Jesus….even for me.
Your love, my God refuses to entertain the idea of abandoning your children. Your grace and mercy absorbs all that we throw at you, and like struggling toddlers, we are held firmly and lovingly while the storm passes.
O Love, that will not let us go, we rest our weary souls in Thee. We are tired of fighting, we long for peace in the midst of bitter sorrow, fierce temptation, paralysing prosperity, wearisome warfare against the indifference and even hostility of our culture. We give Thee back the lives we owe – bought by the blood of Jesus, saved for a glorious future – that in closer fellowship and deeper dependence, we might live more fully.
May we walk in the light of Christ, not by our own feeble, imagined illuminations; may we know his joy, in spite of the griefs that dog our steps; and may we never stray far from the cross, where our new lives began, and by which we receive all the treasures of grace.