I read again, recently, a somewhat sad but true story about a guy named George. By all accounts, he was a man who loved God, and as a theologian and pastor, he was tremendously gifted with an ability to express deep spiritual insights on God’s love and grace. To those who heard him preach, it was almost as if he saw some things in God’s Word that the average man often missed, things the average person desperately needed to know. I guess you could say George was able to tell people about the things he saw when he looked at God. But he began to struggle to tell people what he saw when he looked at them. You see, George had a problem.
Actually, he had a degenerative eye disease that doctors told him would result in his total blindness. When he shared that news with his fiance’, she told him she could not envision life with a man who had no eyesight. She broke their engagement. And, as George’s eyesight continued to dim, his sister Elizabeth became his constant caregiver and support. She helped him through his theological studies, often reading to him because of his dimming eyesight, helping him in his ministry responsibilities. And George went totally blind.
However, when Elizabeth became engaged to marry, George would be left without his sister as his caregiver. On the night of his sister’s wedding, he wrote a song (which he said he completed, literally, in five minutes) that expressed what his heart was seeing, as he looked through eyes of faith at what he assumed would be dark days ahead without a caregiver. He said the song ‘came to him like a dayspring from on high.’
As a 40 year-old man, facing the uncertainty of life and ministry totally blind, now with no spouse or family member to help him navigate the daily challenges he must manage all alone, he wrote a song. He penned one of the most beautiful hymns ever written.
George Matheson could’t see with his eyes. He was blind.
But he wasn’t sightless, when he wrote ‘O Love That Will Not Let Me Go.’ His eyes were somehow full of Light, as he wrote this lyric:
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.
If you don’t know the melody to this beautiful hymn, familiarize yourself with it. I promise you’ll hum it in shower, or whistle it as you walk along. But even more importantly, rehearse the lyrics as a daily prayer. Memorize the message of that lyric written by a blind man who understood life’s uncertainties with crystal clarity; a sightless man who had no one to rest his arm upon … but Jesus, and a Love that would not let him go.
Jer. 31:3 says, ” “I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.”