Hymn #33 in Celebrating Grace Hymnal — “Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah”
[pullquote_center width=”90%”]When I tread the verge of Jordan, bid my anxious fears subside;
Bear me through the swelling current, land me safe on Canaan’s side:
Songs of praises, songs of praises, I will ever give to thee[/pullquote_center]
The world is always seeking escapes from real life. Whether it is drugs, alcohol, gambling, excessive TV watching, plastic surgery, or overeating, there are countless tempting ways to attempt avoiding the realities of this world. There is a great temptation for humanity to try conquering the unpleasantness of life in the same way we have conquered space flight, locomotion, or bacterial infection. And if we are honest, many of us want religion to serve the same purpose as the list of escapes listed earlier—we want it to shield us from the unpleasantness and pain of real life.
In today’s text, the hymn writer confronts real life head-on. “When I tread the verge of Jordan…” ‘When’, not ‘if’, and not ‘if I must’. Facing life head-on, the writer acknowledges that hardship is a reality we all must face. What calms his fears is the steadfast belief that he will land safe on the other side. Facing the choppy waters of the Jordan, our anxious fears subside when we are accompanied by our strong Deliverer.
Songs of praises we give to Thee.