Frances Ridley Havergal was in the habit of sending New Year’s cards, rather than Christmas cards. And, being a skilled devotional poet, she wrote the verses they contained herself. One of these that has become a hymn is Another Year Is Dawning (see Today in 1836). And if you were a friend of hers in 1874, you would have received a card containing the hymn poem, Standing at the Portal. Note how the second stanza below contains virtually a word by word quotation of Isa. 41:10, which says:
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.
Standing at the portal of the opening year,
Words of comfort meet us, hushing every fear;
Spoken through the silence by our Saviour’s voice,
Tender, strong and faithful, making us rejoice.
Onward, then, and fear not,
Children of the day;
For His Word shall never,
Never pass away.
“I, the Lord, am with thee, be thou not afraid;
I will help and strengthen, be thou not dismayed.
Yea, I will uphold thee with My own right hand;
Thou art called and chosen in My sight to stand.”
(2) Today in 1919 Matilda Edwards Died
English hymn writer Matilda Barbara Betham-Edwards has given us a lovely children’s prayer hymn. Though she wrote other poetry, and a number of books, God Make My Life a Little Light is the only hymn for which she is known today. It was published in a magazine called Good Words, in 1873. And whether we are children, teens, or adults, that is what the Lord asks of us. We are to “shine as lights in the world” (Phil. 2:15). In the words of the Lord Jesus,
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matt. 5:16)
God make my life a little light
Within the world to glow;
A little flame that burneth bright,
Wherever I may go.
God make my life a little song
That comforteth the sad
That helpeth others to be strong,
And makes the singer glad.
God make my life a little staff
Whereon the weak may rest,
That so what health and strength I have
May serve my neighbours best.