Story Behind Hymn "Precious Lord"

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by righteousdude2, Jan 20, 2012.

  1. righteousdude2

    righteousdude2
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    I hope this blesses you as much as it did me...

    Back in 1932, I was a fairly new husband. My wife, Nettie and I were living in a little apartment on Chicago 's south side. One hot August afternoon I had to go to St. Louis where I was to be the featured soloist at a large revival meeting. I didn't want to go; Nettie was in the last month of pregnancy with our first child, but a lot of people were expecting me in St. Louis. I kissed Nettie goodbye, clattered downstairs to our Model A and, in a fresh Lake Michigan breeze, chugged out of Chicago on Route 66.

    However, outside the city, I discovered that in my anxiety at leaving, I had forgotten my music case. I wheeled around and headed back.

    I found Nettie sleeping peacefully. I hesitated by her bed; something was strongly telling me to stay But eager to get on my way, and not wanting to disturb Nettie, I shrugged off the feeling and quietly slipped out of the room with my music.

    The next night, in the steaming St. Louis heat, the crowd called on me to sing again and again. When I finally sat down, a messenger boy ran up with a Western Union Telegram. I ripped open the envelope.... Pasted on the yellow sheet were the words: YOUR WIFE JUST DIED.

    People were happily singing and clapping around me, but I could hardly keep from crying out. I rushed to a phone and called home. All I could hear on the other end was "Nettie is dead Nettie is dead."

    When I got back, I learned that Nettie had given birth to a boy. I swung between grief and joy. Yet that same night, the baby died. I buried Nettie and our little boy together, in the same casket. Then I fell apart. For days I closeted myself. I felt that God had done me an injustice. I didn't want to serve Him anymore or write gospel songs I just wanted to go back to that jazz world I once knew so well. But then, as I hunched alone in that dark apartment those first sad days, I thought back to the afternoon I went to St. Louis. Something kept telling me to stay with Nettie. Was that something God? Oh, if I had paid more attention to Him that day, I would have stayed and been with Nettie when she died.

    From that moment on I vowed to listen more closely to Him. But still I was lost in grief. Everyone was kind to me, especially one friend. The following Saturday evening he took me up to Maloney's Poro College , a neighborhood music school. It was quiet; the late evening sun crept through the curtained windows.

    I sat down at the piano, and my hands began to browse over the keys. Something happened to me then. I felt at peace. I felt as though I could reach out and touch God. I found myself playing a melody. Once in my head they just seemed to fall into place: 'Precious Lord, take my hand, lead me on, let me stand, I am tired, I am weak, I am worn, through the storm, through the night, lead me on to the light, take my hand, precious Lord, lead me home.'

    The Lord gave me these words and melody, He also healed my spirit. I learned that when we are in our deepest grief, when we feel farthest from God, this is when He is closest, and when we are most open to His restoring power.

    And so I go on living for God willingly and joyfully, until that day comes when He will take me and gently lead me home.
    :praying:

    SEE: http://www.snopes.com/music/songs/precious.asp
     
  2. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
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    This is a wonderful story. I've read a number of stories about how some hymns originated. Many were born out of pain and sorrow.

    I won't relate the story here, but a quick search will turn up the story of Horatio Spafford, who wrote It Is Well With My Soul. Your heart will be stirred and I guarantee some of you will identify with Spafford and the hymn which came out of tragedy.
     
  3. preacher4truth

    preacher4truth
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    :thumbsup: :love2: :tear:
     
  4. Oldtimer

    Oldtimer
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    Don't mind admitting your post brought tears to my eyes Righteousdude2. Thank you for sharing.

    :flower: Listen to that whisper when it's heard in our awareness of His presence.

    :flower: Each day, try to find our own quiet place where the inspiration of the Lord can shine through our "curtained windows".

    Precious Lord, this morning, I am tired, weak, and worn. Take my hand to help me finish my assigned task, today, for your glory. And, for all the tomorrows that I have left before You lead me home. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen.
     
  5. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K)
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    This post was a blessing. Thank you.


    Thanks as well for the link. I had not heard that Tommy Dorsey had been credited in Thomas Dorsey's place. That was interesting.
     
  6. Bob Alkire

    Bob Alkire
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    Thank you for sharing, Righteousdude2.
     
  7. ktn4eg

    ktn4eg
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    Being a history buff, I too enjoy reading the histories behind many of the hymns we sing. I know of at least a couple books out that tell these stories.

    One of the more recent ones is The Complete Book of Hymns by Willam J. & Ardythe Petersen (Tyndale House, 690 p.). It covers 600 hymns and praise songs arranged by their themes.

    One of my favorite stories is about the song "Lord, I'm Coming Home." Both the words and music are by William J. Kirkpatrick, who apparently was a distant relative of mine. While Kirkpatrick wrote the music to many of our great hymns, this is one where he wrote the words as well.
     
  8. righteousdude2

    righteousdude2
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    Brother, I Am In Agreement With Your...

    ...sentiments! May He watch over and continue to grant you. His favor.
     

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