Longing for God
“I need thee every hour, most gracious Lord…….”
Today was a difficult day, and in the midst of it, I kept hearing this hymn. I was reminded that we are not alone in this. We do not have to face life on our own. As Christian people, we know this; yet how easy it is to forget sometimes.
The psalmist reminds us, offering her soul to God, and proclaiming her trust, all the while asking for God’s help in being faithful. She desires forgiveness and mercy, and longs for God’s presence.
Annie Hawks began writing poetry and hymns when she was fourteen years old. The most familiar of those is “I Need Thee Every Hour.” She describes the occasion of penning the hymn:
“I remember well the circumstances under which I wrote the hymn. It was a bright June day, and I became so filled with the sense of the nearness of my Master that I began to wonder how anyone could live without Him, in either joy or pain. Suddenly, the words I need Thee every hour, flashed into my mind, and very quickly the thought had full possession of me.”
We seek God’s nearness. We desire God’s grace and love. In Advent, that longing and desire become even more intense as we await the coming of Christ again. The trick is to lean into it the longing, knowing that God is right there with us all along.
Musical meditation: “I Need Thee Every Hour” as performed by Jars of Clay. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2w3y3iT3NlU
Rev. Tracy Spencer-Brown is the pastor of Andrews Presbyterian Church in Andrews, Texas.
©2016 by individual authors and Facebook Narrative Lectionary Group. This work is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.