“Where is God my maker, who giveth songs in the night?” Job 35:10b
It was on a fateful night in 1910 in the small town of Harrodsburg, Kentucky that a man found himself unable to sleep. He decided to get up from bed and walked over to the window to take in the darkened landscape. Expecting perhaps a tranquil moonlit scene, his eyes instead were met with horror as he saw flames racing across the field toward the neighbour’s house. The alarm was raised and Mr. and Mrs. Vetch, owners of the home, fled just as the fire consumed their dwelling. Sadly, their daughter Sarah and her three young sons were not able to escape and died in the blaze.
Earlier that evening, a pastor named Luther Bridges had just finished up a series of special revival meetings elsewhere in Kentucky. At age 26, Pastor Bridges had already gained a favourable reputation as a gifted evangelist and preacher. He had gone to bed that night in anticipation of reuniting with his family, whom he had left in the care of his in-laws two weeks before. How he wanted to share with his beloved Sarah all the wonderful things God had done during the special meetings. It was later that night Mr. Bridges was awoken and given the news that there had been a house-fire and his wife and boys had all perished.
In coping with the loss of his family, Bridges went on to pen the words and music to the now famous hymn, “He Keeps Me Singing.”
There’s within my heart a melody—Jesus whispers sweet and low, “Fear not, I am with thee—peace, be still,” in all of life’s ebb and flow.
All my life was wrecked by sin and strife. Discord filled my heart with pain; Jesus swept across the broken strings, stirred the slumb’ring chords again.
Feasting on the riches of His grace, resting ’neath His shelt’ring wing, always looking on His smiling face—That is why I shout and sing.
Tho sometimes He leads thru waters deep, trials fall across the way, tho sometimes the path seem rough and steep, see His feet-prints all the way.
Soon He’s coming back to welcome me far beyond the starry sky; I shall wing my flight to worlds unknown; I shall reign with Him on high.
Chorus: Jesus, Jesus, Jesus—Sweetest name I know, fills my ev’ry longing, keeps me singing as I go.
In 1914 Luther Bridges remarried and served for the next eighteen years as an itinerant evangelist whose travels took him across the southern United States and countries as far away as Belgium, Czechoslovakia and Russia. After 1932 he served as a pastor in churches in North Carolina and Georgia until his death in 1948.
Although none of us would welcome the tragic events that shaped the young life of Luther Bridges, we can rest assured that our same God still gives songs in the night.
May Jesus keep you singing!
Post by: Jack Caron
NBBI Faculty, Web Administrator
Follow me on Twitter @jackcaron