For You have been a stronghold to the poor,
a stronghold to the needy in his distress,
a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat.
(Isaiah 25:4 ESV)
The hymn Precious Lord has been called "the greatest gospel song of all time." People around the world know it, sing it and love it because of its profound message of hope and faith. Written in 1932 by Thomas Dorsey, this great hymn of faith was inspired by a horrific tragedy in his life.
In August of 1932, Dorsey was scheduled to be the featured soloist at a large revival meeting in St. Louis. At the time he and his wife were living in a little apartment on the South Side of Chicago, and Nettie was pregnant with their first child. He kissed her goodbye and made his way to St. Louis for the revival. The next night, as soon as he finished playing, a Western Union messenger came up to the stage and gave Dorsey an urgent telegram. "I ripped open the envelope," he recounted later. Pasted on the yellow telegram sheet were the words: “Your wife just died.” When he got home, he found out that his wife, Nettie had given birth to a baby boy. Sadly, the little baby boy had also died later that evening.
Dorsey believed that the songs God gave him were meant to give people hope. Now more than ever, he needed a song to bring him hope. At his darkest moment, in a quiet room, he sat grief-stricken at his piano. As he sat Precious Lord came to life, and today countless people have been inspired by this beautiful hymn.
Even in our darkest moments, we can take the hand of our precious Lord and He will lead us.
Precious Lord, take my hand,
Lead me on, let me stand,
I am tired, I am weak, I am worn;
Through the storm, through the night,
Lead me on to the light:
Take my hand, precious Lord,
Lead me home.
In the midst of the awesomeness, a touch comes, and you know it is the right hand of Jesus Christ. You know it is not the hand of restraint, correction, nor chastisement, but the right hand of the Everlasting Father. Whenever His hand is laid upon you, it gives inexpressible peace and comfort, and the sense that “underneath are the everlasting arms,” (Deuteronomy 33:27) full of support, provision, comfort and strength.
- Oswald Chambers