THERE SHALL BE SHOWERS OF BLESSING written in 1883
As a teenager, Daniel Whittle (1840-1901) was a cashier at the Wells Fargo Bank in Chicago. But, when the Civil War began, he enlisted and soon became a soldier in General Grant’s Union Army. Just before he left, his mother put a New Testament in his kit bag… where it stayed, unread. In 1863, during the siege of Vicksburg, in which nearly 20,000 soldiers lost their lives, young Daniel was wounded and taken prisoner by Confederate troops. His right arm had to be amputated. While in the hospital he came across the New Testament in his kit… and began to read it.
One night near midnight, later in his hospital stay, an orderly came to Daniel’s bedside and told him a man was dying in the next room and needed someone to pray with him. Daniel refused; just because he was reading a Bible didn’t mean he was a Christian… and he said he didn’t know how to pray. But, because of the urgency of the situation, Daniel did go to talk with him. When the man said, “Pray for me, and ask God to forgive me”, Daniel asked God to forgive his fellow soldier… and then prayed for forgiveness for himself, too! When Daniel got up from his knees, he discovered that the soldier had died while he was praying. As for himself, Daniel had entered into new life; he had become a new creation. His mother’s prayers had been answered.
At the end of the Civil War, Daniel was given the rank of Major and thereafter was often referred to as Major Whittle. After the war, he returned to Chicago and began working for the Elgin Watch Company. It was there he became acquainted with Dwight L. Moody and his ministry. Moody’s influence was so significant on Daniel’s life that he gave up his job at the watch company and began his ministry as an evangelist. Daniel was such a close friend of the Moody family, his daughter married D.L. Moody’s son.
Daniel began writing hymns in 1875, often using the pseudonym “El Nathan”.
Out of approximately 200 hymns he wrote, this hymn and I Know Whom I Have Believed are among the most well-known. The tune for this hymn was composed by James McGranahan (1840-1907), a soloist who worked with Daniel Whittle.
This hymn is taken from the text in Ezekiel 34:26, in which God promises showers of blessing upon the land.
Read this hymn, and – today – thank God for His many blessings upon your life.
There shall be showers of blessing: this is the promise of love;
there shall be seasons refreshing, sent from the Savior above.
Showers of blessing, showers of blessing we need:
mercy-drops round us are falling, but for the showers we plead.
There shall be showers of blessing, precious reviving again;
over the hills and the valleys, sound of abundance of rain. (Refrain)
There shall be showers of blessing; send them upon us, O Lord;
grant to us now a refreshing, come, and now honor Thy Word. (Refrain)
There shall be showers of blessing: oh, that today they might fall,
now as to God we’re confessing, now as on Jesus we call! (Refrain)
There shall be showers of blessing, if we but trust and obey;
there shall be seasons refreshing, if we let God have His way. (Refrain)