Perhaps you have heard the song, “Lord Help Me To Hold Out.” It is a call for perseverance in the midst of the storms of life. It doesn’t ask for the removal of storms, but it only asks that God would help the singer to hold on until “my change” comes.
As the singer moves into the verses, we learn about the struggle. We learn about a way that is not easy, but there is a resolve to put one’s trust in God. Yes hold on. As I think about this song, I am struck by the fact that pains and problems are accepted as normal in this song. We will have difficult days in this life. We will have struggles in this life. We will find ourselves in situations that are almost unbearable. This song doesn’t sugar coat reality like we sometimes do.
No the song specifically says, “My way may not be easy, You did not say that it would be, but if it gets dark, can’t see my way, he told me to put my trust in thee.”
Darkness is a certainty. Darkness is a surety. In this world you will have trouble (John 16:33). The blessing is not in the removal of the darkness. That would be an unrealistic view for we all know about the pains of life.
But the key is that you can hold on. You will hold out. If you just ask the one who has brought you through to help you to hold on just a little while longer. For if you hold on, your change will come
We often think of the Christian life in terms of what God will give us materially. We hear preachers speak of food on the table and a house and a job. We hear about how God will make you successful on your job or take you to the correct job if you lose that one.
However, one of the greatest gifts God has given to you is that “something” that is within you. That “something” that guides and directs you. That “something” that tells pain to stand back. That “something” that keeps you stable in an unstable world. I can’t really explain that “something”, but God has placed this “something” within you.
Today as we seek to live the life of God, let us keep in mind this great gift that God has given to us which is simply this “something” within.
From “Wonderful” to “Jesus be a Fence to Touch the Hem,” you can still hear the music made and remade. However few know of the man that influenced both Cooke and much of Gospel music. The man’s name is R. H. Harris. Cooke followed R. H. Harris in the Soul Stirrers.
You can listen to an audio podcast on the Down in the Flood website. The podcast provides commentary on the contributions of R. H. Harris to that influential group that made Sam Cooke famous.
Listen to the soaring movement in and out of the falsetto by R. H. Harris on the audios. In addition listen to Paul Foster trading lines with Harris like he later did with Cooke. You also might want to purchase an album of Harris’ contributions to the Soul Stirrers from amazon.com entitled [amazon title B000000QMM].
Someone has put up another classic video of the very influential group “Soul Stirrers.”
Thanks to the Jazz Theologian for finding this. Pastor Wintley Phipps teaches the origins of the song Amazing Grace in the Negro Spirituals even though it was written by a white slave ship captain. Then Pastor Phipps sings the song.