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The Blessing of Old Hymns

Guideposts blogger Michelle Cox urges all parents to teach their children the familiar, loving words of old hymns. They will bring comfort at unexpected times and in tough situations. She shares her own story.

The Blessing of Old Hymns
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

My sweet friend Wendy Hayes and her family (The Mylon Hayes Family) are well known in Southern Gospel music circles. They’ve recently been on the road with Gerald Wolfe and Greater Vision, the Jim Brady Trio and others for a national gospel music hymn tour.

I love that they’re keeping those hymns alive for another generation. It’s warmed my heart to see Wendy’s photos of huge churches filled to capacity with folks singing along to the old familiar words.

There’s a reason for that. The words of those hymns have stood the test of time. They’ve given comfort, reminded us of the gifts God’s given us, brought conviction and bonded us with family, friends and fellow church members.

And sometimes God sends the words of those old hymns to us in unexpected places.

I remember years ago when my family was going through a financial crisis. Times were tough. I was worried about how we were going to provide for our children. My sweet husband was discouraged, and I was concerned about him. I was so scared and overwhelmed.

While running errands one day, I stopped the car at a red light. I flipped the radio dial to a Christian station. The first notes of “‘Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus” sounded throughout my car. I listened to those precious words about God bearing our griefs and wiped tears from my cheeks as His sweet comfort healed those broken places in my heart.

And that wasn’t the only time that those precious hymns have touched my life.

Back when my oldest sons were four-years-old and four-months-old, I was in a serious car accident. I spent six weeks in traction in the hospital with a broken hip and pelvic bone, a fractured ankle and a concussion. The doctors told me I’d never walk normally again and that I’d have an artificial hip within five years.

I spent those six weeks in a tiny hospital room with a view of a concrete roof. Because of the traction, I didn’t get to leave the room at all. Out of boredom, I’d counted the 2,784 tulips on the wallpaper. Several times. I so wanted to be home with my babies and my husband, and I was fearful of what the future would hold for me.

The nights were long, lonely and painful, but they were also some of the most precious times I’ve ever had as God sent the words of those old hymns to me, and I sang quietly in my room. “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.” “Trust and Obey.” “Peace, Peace, Wonderful Peace.” Wonderful words that wrapped around my soul and brought comfort in the night.

Moms and dads, I encourage you to teach those old hymns to your children. Someday when they are facing hard times, those words will bring hope and healing, even when you can’t be there.

I’m grateful for the blessing of old hymns. How about you?

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