Posted by: rcottrill | January 20, 2014

Never Alone

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Words: Ludie Carrington Day Pickett (b. Mar. 31. 1867; d. Mar. 1, 1953)
Music: composer unknown (Fred Jackey is listed as the arranger in some books)

Links:
Wordwise Hymns
The Cyber Hymnal

Note: This gospel song was published in 1897. Some hymn books call both the words and music anonymous, but others identify the two individuals noted above. Fred Jackey is an otherwise unknown musician. For more about Mrs. Pickett, see the Wordwise Hymns link.

The wording I’ve used below is slightly different from what is found in the Cyber Hymnal, but not in any material way. The message is still the same, and it’s an encouraging one. At times the refrain has been used as a chorus, on its own.

God did not mean human beings to be alone (Gen. 2:18). Though there are times when this happens, and even is necessary, we have been made to relate to others and live in community. However, having a number of people nearby is no guarantee we will not be lonely. A person can be lonely in a crowd. To have real friendship and companionship, there have to be mutual concern and compassion, a sharing of life’s pains and pleasures.

At times there is a loneliness in service for God. Sometimes, this is because those around us are opposing what we do. Other times, it is because coworkers and friends–for whatever reason–have abandoned us.

¤ Godly Job suffered alone on the ash heap. His wife had told him to “curse God and die” (Job 1:9). And the “friends” who came to comfort him turned on him in the end, believing he must have done some great wickedness to be experiencing what he was (e.g. Job 4:7; cf. 16:2).

¤ Elijah experienced feelings of loneliness as he fled from the murderous wrath of Queen Jezebel (I Kgs. 19:10).

¤ The Lord Jesus experienced it too. First, many in the multitudes that flocked after Him drifted away (Jn. 6:66-69). Later, even His disciples abandoned Him in fear (Matt. 26:56), including Peter, who’d said he never would (Matt. 26:33, 69-75).

¤ Near the end of his life, Paul reported to Timothy that Luke was the only one who had stayed with him–i.e. visited him in his lonely prison cell (II Tim. 4:9-12).

Though such times are a reality for many faithful servants of God, we have the repeated assurance that God will never abandon His own. The Lord Jesus said, “Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:20). “He [God] Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you’” (Heb. 13:5). The Apostle Paul raises the question, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” His answer is that nothing can or will (Rom. 8:35-39).

CH-1) I’ve seen the lightning flashing, and heard the thunder roll.
I’ve felt sin’s breakers dashing, which tried to conquer my soul.
I’ve heard the voice of my Saviour, He bid me still to fight on.
He promised never to leave me, never to leave me alone!

No, never alone, no never alone,
He promised never to leave me,
Never to leaven me alone;
No, never alone, no never alone.
He promised never to leave me,
Never to leave me alone.

CH-4) He died on Calvary’s mountain, for me they piercèd His side.
For me He opened that fountain, the crimson, cleansing tide.
For me He’s waiting in glory, upon His heav’nly throne–
He promised never to leave me, never to leave me alone!

With regard to the refrain of the song, some books change a line, possibly to avoid some of the repetition. Lines two and three are made to say:

He promised never to leave me,
He’ll claim me for His own;

This is true, but I would have preferred to see that in the present tense: “He claims me for His own.” The Bible says, “Beloved, now we are children of God” (I Jn. 3:2; cf. Gal. 3:26). The Lord considers us “My sheep” (Jn. 10:14, 26).

As to the Lord abiding with those who belong to Him, Paul’s own testimony bears this out. In his prison cell he wrote to Timothy:

“At my first defense no one stood with me, but all forsook me. May it not be charged against them. But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that the message might be preached fully through me, and that all the Gentiles might hear” (II Tim. 4:16-17).

And it should be added that believers ought to be the Lord’s ministers in visiting and encouraging those who are lonely and facing various trials (Matt. 25:36; cf. Acts 20:35; II Cor. 1:3-5; II Tim. 1:16-17; Jas. 2:15-16; III Jn. 1:5-8).

Questions:
1) What are the unique hurts experienced in the loneliness of ministry? And its unique comforts?

2) Is there some lonely person you are aware of that would benefit from a visit or an act of kindness from you today?

Links:
Wordwise Hymns
The Cyber Hymnal


Responses

  1. A beautiful hymn… meant for me today. I’ve saved it in my favourites.
    Thank you!

  2. Great encouraging hymn, based on one of the greatest promises of God. Thank you.


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