Needy. That word solicits negative vibes in most people. The person who always needs a pat on the back. The man who never seems to be happy regardless of the circumstances. A woman who expects others to come visit her instead of vice-versa.
Annie Hawks didn’t appear to be in need for many years. She was a young wife and the mother of three children. Her days were filled with normal household tasks. On a bright June morning in 1872, she felt led to write the lyrics to a hymn titled, I Need Thee Every Hour.
But sixteen years later Annie’s husband died. “I did not understand at first why this hymn had touched the great throbbing heart of humanity,” Annie wrote. “It was not until long after, when the shadow fell over my way, the shadow of a great loss, that I understood something of the comforting power in the words which I had been permitted to give out to others in my hour of sweet serenity and peace.” Although she wrote over 400 hymns during her eighty-three years, I Need Thee Every Hour was the only one that was widely recognized and sung. (Then Sings My Soul, Robert J. Morgan)
This side of heaven, Christians will always need God even though Revelation tells us we win in the end. But do we tell God we need Him?
Author Sara Hagerty opens up. “For nearly a year, I woke up every single morning with the hymn “I Need Thee Every Hour” playing in my head, ushering me into alertness. It was as if God was reminding me I was that needy. I had masked my weakness for so long that it was freeing to finally admit-and first thing in the morning, almost as the pronouncement over my day-how much I needed God. Now, whether or not I wake up with that hymn ringing in my ears, my first words nearly every morning are, “God, I need you.” In the rawest, most vulnerable part of my day, I position myself as needy and attentive.” (Unseen)
Skeptics love to say Christianity is a crutch for weak people.” Many times I pray, “Jesus, I need you all over again,” even if the day before went my way.
God doesn’t force Himself on anyone, even the needy. It’s the opposite, according to Isaiah:
“So the Lord must wait for you to come to Him, so He can show you His love and compassion. For the Lord is a Faithful God. Blessed are those who wait for His help.” (30:18, NLT)
What about the distraction of hurt, caused by others? Isn’t that a legitimate reason to not seek God? Hagerty responds, “And so, in some ways, the one who mistreats me gives me a gift: the gift of collapsing into the arms of God. What happens in the secret place between God and me is out of that person’s reach, making it even sweeter.”
What keeps you from admitting how much you need God?
pictures courtesy of pexels.com w/exception of book cover: Unseen (“Nelson & his Nikon)
One thought on ““The Permission to Need” (The Hymn Series: part 3)”
The main word that comes to my mind is, POWERFUL! This is a message so very much needed for all of us. Thank you Nelson.
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