My hymnal has laid open to this hymn for a week now, waiting patiently for me to write about it 🙂
By now I have forgotten the exact moment and circumstance when it came to mind. Generally speaking it has been a recurring theme, as I spend much time in God’s Presence, in the absence of people. Learning to appreciate that, becoming content with the very best that could be, seems a little silly when put into words, but in very fact it does not come naturally.
I used to think this all (walking closely with God) came naturally for some people. I’m beginning to think that those who wrote about it had likewise been in difficult circumstances which taught them to walk with God.
“Thou shalt hide them in the secret of Thy presence.” Psalm 31:20
In the secret of His presence how my soul delights to hide!
Oh, how precious are the lessons which I learn at Jesus’ side!
Earthly cares can never vex me, neither trials lay me low;
For when Satan comes to tempt me, to the secret place I go,
To the secret place I go.
When my soul is faint and thirsty, ’neath the shadow of His wing
There is cool and pleasant shelter, and a fresh and crystal spring;
And my Savior rests beside me, as we hold communion sweet:
If I tried, I could not utter what He says when thus we meet,
What He says when thus we meet.
Only this I know: I tell Him all my doubts, my griefs and fears;
Oh, how patiently He listens! and my drooping soul He cheers:
Do you think He ne’er reproves me? What a false Friend He would be,
If He never, never told me of the sins which He must see,
Of the sins which He must see.
Would you like to know the sweetness of the secret of the Lord?
Go and hide beneath His shadow: this shall then be your reward;
And whene’er you leave the silence of that happy meeting place,
You must mind and bear the image of the Master in your face,
Of the Master in your face.
Words by Ellen Lakshmi Goreh
Music by Geo. C. Stebbins
There is a quote of Mr. Sankey on this site, cyberhymnal.org, which you might find interesting, as I did.