HE KEEPS ME SINGING written in 1910
Luther Bridgers (1884-1948) was a 26-year-old Methodist pastor in Kentucky, with a gift for evangelism; he was sometimes asked to lead revival services in other churches.
That is what happened one week in 1910. While he was preaching in another town in Kentucky, his wife and children were staying with her parents in Harrodsburg (KY). On the final night of revival services – which had gone on for 2 weeks, Luther was joyful. He was even more excited to be called to a telephone; he assumed it was his wife and he couldn’t wait to tell her of the many blessings of recommitment and salvation.
But it wasn’t her voice on that long-distance line. He listened in silence to the news that his in-laws home had caught fire… and his wife and 3 sons had been trapped inside. They had burned to death.
Luther was in shock; he could hardly believe what had happened. But, when he arrived at Harrodsburg, the 4 caskets were all the proof he needed. As the news sunk in, so did his faith… and he began to consider what he still had to hang onto. His answer was Jesus. And soon, this song began to be put together.
It’s hard to imagine how such a fun song to sing could come out of such tragedy. This is one of the earliest hymns I can remember singing as a child; it was fun to sing even then.
Read this hymn, and – today – look to Jesus, even on the toughest of days.
There’s within my heart a melody Jesus whispers sweet and low,
fear not, I am with thee, peace, be still, in all of life’s ebb and flow.
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, sweetest Name I know,
fills my every longing, keeps me singing as I go.
All my life was wrecked by sin and strife, discord filled my heart with pain,
Jesus swept across the broken strings, stirred the slumbering chords again. (Refrain)
Feasting on the riches of His grace, resting ’neath His sheltering wing,
always looking on His smiling face, that is why I shout and sing. (Refrain)
Though sometimes He leads through waters deep, trials fall across the way,
though sometimes the path seems rough and steep, see His footprints all the way.(Refrain)
Soon He’s coming back to welcome me, far beyond the starry sky;
I shall wing my flight to worlds unknown, I shall reign with Him on high. (Refrain)