Posted by: rcottrill | January 7, 2013


Words: Napoleon Bonaparte (“Jack”) Vandall (b. Dec. 28, 1896; d. Aug. 24:1970)
Music: Napoleon Bonaparte Vandall

Wordwise Hymns
The Cyber Hymnal (N. B. Vandall)

Note: This fine gospel song was published in 1934. The touching story behind it is told briefly in the Wordwise Hymns link. A fuller account, in Jack Vandall’s own words, is found in Ken Osbeck’s book 101 More Hymn Stories (Kregel Publications, 1985). Phil Kerr, in his book Music in Evangelism (Zondervan Publishing House, 1962) tells us a little about the author’s early life.

Vandall’s mother, a dedicated Christian, died when he was a boy, and he had no other spiritual influence in his life. He became a cabaret entertainer, in the early years of the twentieth century, then served in the Marines in the First World War. After the war, he became a businessman in Akron, Ohio. In 1920, he was converted at a Methodist camp meeting. It was then that he entered Christian ministry.

It’s an important word: after. And, since God has made us eternal beings, there always is an “after.” For the believer, a common application of this truth is the realization that the trials and suffering of this present life do have an end. In this life, we have the presence and sustaining grace of the Lord, as He leads the way onward–after which He will call us to Himself, in the heavenly kingdom. As the psalmist puts it, “You will guide me with Your counsel, and afterward receive me to glory” (Ps. 73:24).

That means that, for every Christian, “Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning” (Ps. 30:5). That truth brought special comfort to the hymn writer on a particular occasion. Vandall’s son Paul was run down by a car. In the hospital, severely injured, it looked as though he would not survive. When the grieving father knelt to pray, all he could do was cry out, “Oh, God!” But he says:

“It seemed to me that Jesus knelt by my side, and I could feel His arms around me as He said, ‘Never mind, My child. Your home will be visited with tribulation and sorrow, but in the afterwards to come, these things shall not be.’”

That comfort is not wishful thinking. In fact, the assurance of our own glorious resurrection is provided for by another “afterward.” In First Corinthians 15, the great resurrection chapter, we see God’s plan laid out: “Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming.” Then the promise will be fulfilled:

“God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Rev. 21:4).

And we have this further assurance:

“Our light affliction, which is but for a moment [even though it is painful, and perhaps seems unending at the time], is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory….The things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal” (II Cor. 4:17-18).

It was as he was comforted by such thoughts as these, even in his deep distress, that Jack Vandall went to the piano and wrote the words and music of a personal testimony to his faith that has since blessed many.

1) After the toil and the heat of the day,
After my troubles are past,
After the sorrows are taken away,
I shall see Jesus at last.

He shall be waiting for me–
Jesus, so kind and true:
On His beautiful throne,
He will welcome me home,
After the day is through.

2) After the heartaches and sighing shall cease,
After the cold winter’s blast,
After the conflict comes glorious peace–
I shall see Jesus at last.

1) Why is it we have such difficulty seeing beyond the trials of this life to the “afterwards”?

2) Is there someone you can encourage this week with the message of this song?

Wordwise Hymns
The Cyber Hymnal (N. B. Vandall)


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