There are several reasons why this hymn, originally titled “The Power of Faith,” is very special to me. I love it for its words, written by William H. Bathurst. It's a prayer from a heart that's weathering rough seas. But instead of asking God to take away the trial, the prayer asks for faith to go through it. Faith to believe that God is in control and that his love is still there, even in the hard times. I love that it’s a prayer asking for faith.
I love this song for its melody, written by my wife, Abigail, before she was my wife. She had come across the words and they encouraged her. She put a simple, singable tune to the words to remember them and share them with others. Then with her phone she made a recording; just her voice and the piano. And that's how I was introduced to the hymn: that simple recording. I was moved by the earnestness in Abi’s voice and in the words she sang. I was amazed at how the song had found me just in time. I needed those words right then, and I made them mine. I listened to that rough iPhone recording over and over and over again. It was my lifeline.
Fast-forward time: what a joy and honor it was for me to revisit the song with Abi! We recorded it in one take on an iPhone, similar to the original recording; just the guitar and our voices (I added the synth and electric guitar later).
The thunder claps are from a storm we witnessed while we were in St. Louis.
I hope you enjoy this song and that it is an encouragement to you as it’s been to us.
O for a faith that will not shrink,
Though pressed by many a foe,
That will not tremble on the brink
Of any earthly woe,
That will not murmur nor complain
Beneath the chast'ning rod,
But in the hour of grief or pain
Will lean upon its God.
A faith that shines more bright and clear
When tempests rage without,
That, when in danger, knows no fear,
In darkness feels no doubt,
Lord, give me such a faith as this,
And then, whate’er may come,
I’ll taste e’en here the hallowed bliss
Of an eternal home.
I’m in a Starbucks right now. I came with my brother-in-law, Ben. He likes to work at Starbucks. It helps him focus. But it’s not just any Starbucks: it’s new—and it’s in what used to be the Chambers Prairie Grange. At one point in time, many years ago, when it was still the grange, my family and I attended a Bible study here. Sometimes I would pass this building and wonder how long before it would be torn down. Now, thanks to Starbucks, it’s stuck here on this corner and I’m happy about that! Also, I like that Starbucks didn’t do much to the building. The floor, walls, ceiling, windows—they’re original. They have that old look. Besides, the “blonde flat white” I’m sipping on is not that bad.
It's funny to be back in this place after all these years.
The following is a letter I wrote a year ago today (10/19/17) to my wife, then my fiancée: