Jesus Lover of My Soul by Charles Wesley, 1740. Verse 3 by Trudy Poirier, 2002.
1. Jesus, lover of my soul,
let me flee unto your side,
while the waters o’er me roll,
while the tempest still is high;
hide me, O my Savior, hide,
till the storm of life be past;
safe into the harbor guide,
O receive my soul at last!
Observe: All of life is a continual storm, and the longer you live, the more you understand this truth. Perhaps Wesley was thinking of the words of Isaiah, Behold, a king will reign in righteousness, and…be a shelter from the storm, when he wrote that our only hope and harbor is to flee to Jesus.
Verse 2 continues this prayer and adds a new dimension. We are defenseless against death, especially in light of eternity. Where is hope found? Only by trusting in Christ.
2. Other refuge have I none;
hangs my helpless soul on you;
leave, ah! leave me not alone,
still support and comfort me.
All my trust on you is stayed,
all my help from you I bring;
cover my defenseless head
with the shadow of your wing.
Regardless of how we prepare, ignore, or deny, in the end, we will all die. But Jesus has promised to be there at that terrifying hour.
Verse 3 speaks to the guilt always present, even if only subconsciously, from sin. Christ is the answer here as well in how he raises, cheers, heals, and leads.
3. You, O Christ are all I want,
More than all in you I find;
raise the fallen, cheer the faint,
heal the sick, and lead the blind.
Just and holy is your name;
I am all unrighteousness,
False and full of sin am I,
You are full of truth and grace.
But more importantly, verse 3 reminds us of our fallen condition that makes sin a reality of daily life. Verse 4 solves this problem.
4. Grace so full with you is found,
grace to cover all my sin;
let the healing streams abound;
make and keep me pure within.
Can I doubt your love for me,
when I trace that love’s design?
By the cross of Calvary,
I am your, and you are mine.
The central event of the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles in the first century A.D. was the water pouring rite on the last day. It symbolized the expected messianic age to come when God’s healing water would flow over the whole earth. As the water was about to be poured, John tells us what happened. Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” (John 7:37–38, ESV).
Jesus is the healing streams that make and keep each believer ‘pure within.’ The depth of his love is traceable in the wounds in his hands and side. At Calvary, he made us his by his atoning death, and he is ours by the Father’s gift of faith that brings his righteousness to us. Jesus said, “All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” (John 6:37, 40).
Let this promise encourage you today.
Blessings, Pastor Don.