Driving home from church last Sunday, God put a song in my heart. HE KEEPS ME SINGING. Often He gives me a song, but this was different because the Lord had put the same song there on the first day of this new year. And I was driving down that very same road. This time though as I drove down Redbud Road singing the chorus, “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Sweetest Name I know. Fills my every longing; keeps me singing as I go,” the Lord said to me, “Do I fill Your every longing?” Now, that got my attention. I have some longings as everyone does, but I often look to other people to do for me what God alone can. He alone can fill my every longing.
Arriving home I looked up the history of this song because I knew there was something more the Lord wanted to share.
Luther B. Bridges (1484 -1948) began preaching at the age of seventeen and was ordained as a Methodist Minister. He then served as an evangelist in the American South and in mission work in Belgium, Czechoslovakia, and Russia. He pastored in Georgia and North Carolina before retiring in 1945 in Gainesville, Georgia. As a teen, he met Sarah Vetch, and they reportedly fell in love at first sight. They were both younger than twenty years old when they married. They had three boys. In 1910 Bridges accepted an invitation to minister at a conference in Kentucky, so he left his family in the care of his father-in-law and made the trip to Kentucky. There he had two wonderful weeks of ministry. He closed the last service with great joy and was excited to be called to the telephone. He couldn’t wait to tell his wife about all the blessings. But it wasn’t her voice on that long distance line. Instead, he listened in silence to the news that a fire had burned down the house of his father-in-law and his wife and all three of his sons had died in the blaze. He was bereaved for his wife and children and asked himself, “How could this happen while I was doing God’s will?” But that distraught father leaned heavily on His Savior and expressed his faith in God and during a tearful moment, he penned the words of this hymn.
When you sing the words of this “upbeat” song, you would probably never sense the pain and sorrow. But knowing the story behind it, you can see his sorrow with phrases he uses such as … Fear not … peace be still …discord … heart with pain … broken strings … His sheltering wing … and then, in verse 4, waters deep … trials … the path seems rough and steep.
Maybe you are like me, and you would use some of these words to express something you are going through. If so, notice the author always answers with … Jesus, Jesus, Jesus …sweetest Name I know. Fills my every longing … keeps me singing as I go.
And look at the hope of the final verse – Soon He’s coming back to welcome me … I shall reign with Him on high. That truth should enable us to live each day with expectation in our hearts and it should … keeps me singing as I go! Allow Him to fill your longings today!!! He is able and willing and only He can!!!