Have you had occasions where you wondered how you were able to accomplish something for the Lord of utmost value? At the same time, how many times have you regretted doing something that was utterly pitiable?
Ira Sankey narrates an incident from the life of the author of the famous hymn “Come Thou Fount of every blessing.”
The author of this hymn, born in 1735, was of lowly parentage. At the age of fourteen his widowed mother sent him to London to learn the trade of barber and hairdresser. His master found him more given to reading than to his profession. While in London he attended meetings held by the great evangelist, George Whitefield, became converted, and began to study for the ministry. In the latter part of his life Mr. Robinson often indulged in frivolous habits. But on one occasion, while traveling in a stagecoach, he encountered a lady who soon compelled him to admit his acquaintance with religion.
She had just been reading this hymn, and she asked his opinion of it, after having told him of the blessings it had brought to her heart. He avoided the subject and turned her attention to some other topic; but the lady, who did not know to whom she was talking, soon returned to the hymn, expressing her strong admiration for its sentiments. Agitated beyond the power of controlling his emotion, Robinson broke out: “Madam, I am the poor, unhappy man who composed that hymn many years ago; and I would give a thousand worlds, if I had them, to enjoy the feelings I had then.”
This is the struggle the apostle Paul faced.
For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. Romans 7:22-23, NIV
It is a struggle the writer of the world-famous hymn had faced.
“Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
prone to leave the God I love;
here’s my heart; O take and seal it;
seal it for thy courts above.”
The struggle between the flesh and the spirit is probably the greatest struggle every child of God will face.
What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! Romans 7:24-25
Jesus Christ delivers us from death and our wretchedness. He alone can do that. And, thus, those who are saved by the Lord can sing:
“Come, thou Fount of every blessing;
tune my heart to sing thy grace;
streams of mercy, never ceasing,
call for songs of loudest praise.”