Sunday, February 16, 2014

Great is Thy Faithfulness

The song "Great is Thy Faithfulness" sticks in my mind as one of those you always hear someone say "my mom or aunt or grandmother loved "Great is Thy Faithfulness" kind of song.  It seemed often one I would hear at funerals, because it was the person's favorite song and he/she had either requested it to be sung or the family wanted to honor his/her life by singing it.  While I had nothing against the song, it was not my favorite, but it always seemed that the older generation favored it.  (no offense--keep reading and you'll see where I'm going with this.)  I always knew it was a nice song, but it didn't resonate with me and just seemed they could sing their hearts out to the tune as I mindlessly plowed through the simple rhythm and melody.  (and it sometimes felt with each verse the notes got longer).
Flash forward to now; I'm 37--still not that old, but old enough to have had a lot more life experience.  I get it now.  By the time you are older, you have seen God's faithfulness in countless ways, and you believe it with all your heart, and you are so thankful you can't stand it.  Then all the memories of how He has been faithful come pouring through as you are singing.  You remember the moments of deep heartache, loss, uncertainty, and hard times.  And you also realize that you are still standing strong and can boldly sing it, only because GOD IS FAITHFUL and GREAT IS HIS FAITHFULNESS.  I always knew this concept, but now I can see His faithfulness mercifully written over our lives and others, and I know my Old Testament better and the countless stories of His faithfulness woven throughout. 
The last few times I have heard this song sung (as a matter of fact this morning) I get teary-eyed  and choked-up and am grateful for where God has brought us.  With each time I sing it, I like the song even more, and each time I can add another memory of how God has been faithful and His mercies have been poured out.  My fondness grows deeper every time.  Perhaps the notes get dragged out longer, because you are lost in thought, emotion, and gratitude.  And maybe by the time I am 80 years old, my girls will say it was my favorite song.  The writer based the lyrics on one of his favorite scriptures from Lamentations 3:22-23: “It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is Thy faithfulness.”

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father;
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not;
As Thou hast been, Thou forever will be.

Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

1 comment:

Heather Bausell said...

This is my favorite hymn! I love Fernando Ortega's version and Sarah Groves mix of the song called "He's always been faithful". Brings me to trears!