NEARER, MY GOD, TO THEE                                                                 written in 1841

The Story

Sarah Adams had to say goodbye too often… and it was always hard. Her mother died when Sarah was only 5 – that was her first goodbye. At age 32, while playing the role of Lady Macbeth in London’s Richmond Theater, she said goodbye to the stage. She wanted to continue acting, but her health would not allow her to. Her sister’s health was poor, too, and Sarah feared the day she would have to say goodbye to her, as well.

Sarah began to question her faith. Why did God seem so far away?

When Sarah’s pastor asked her and her sister to help him put a hymnal together, the two were eager to help. They wrote 13 texts and 62 new tunes. As they were finishing their work, the pastor mentioned he was preparing a sermon about Jacob’s dream of a ladder ascending to Heaven – Genesis 28:11-19. He wanted an appropriate hymn to be sung along with it.

Sarah quickly wrote the 5 verses of “Nearer, My God, to Thee”.

In her own life, she had learned that each step we take – even those that result in difficult and painful goodbyes – only draws us nearer to God.

By the way, according to those who survived the tragedy of the sinking of the Titanic, this song was the song the orchestra was playing as it sank!

The Song

            Read this song, and, today, make it your own prayer to God.

Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee! E’en though it be a cross that raiseth me;       still all my song shall be nearer, my God, to Thee,

Chorus: Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!

Though like the wanderer, the sun gone down, darkness be over me, my rest a stone;     yet in my dreams I’d be nearer, my God, to Thee,…

There let the way appear steps unto heav’n; all that Thou sendest me in mercy giv’n;

angels to beckon me nearer, my God, to Thee,…

Then with my waking thoughts bright with Thy praise, out of my stony griefs Bethel I’ll raise;

so by my woes to be nearer, my God, to Thee,…

Or if on joyful wing, cleaving the sky, sun, moon, and stars forgot, upwards I fly,

still all my song shall be, nearer, my God, to Thee,…

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