There’s within my heart a melody
Jesus whispers sweet and low:
“Fear not, I am with thee; peace, be still,”
In all of life’s ebb and flow.
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus,
Sweetest name I know,
Fills my every longing,
Keeps me singing as I go.
All my life was wrecked by sin and strife;
Discord filled my heart with pain;
Jesus swept across the broken strings,
Stirred the slumbering chords again.
Feasting on the riches of His grace,
Resting ‘neath His sheltering wing,
Always looking on His smiling face –
That is why I shout and sing.
Though sometimes He leads through waters deep,
Trials fall across my way,
Though sometimes the path seems rough and steep,
See His footprints all the way.
Soon He’s coming back to welcome me,
Far beyond the starry sky;
I shall wing my flight to worlds unknown;
I shall reign with Him on high.
Perhaps we should not be surprised to find yet another cheerful hymn written by someone who has endured deep sorrow. Such a man was Luther Bridgers, a young pastor who had graduated from Asbury College, Kentucky. In 1910, when he was twenty-six, Luther drove his wife and three sons to her parents’ home in Harrodsburg, Kentucky, where they were to stay while he went on a preaching trip. A fire broke out in the house one night, and although a neighbour noticed it and was able to warn the family, only Luther’s in-laws survived, while his wife and sons perished. Understandably, Luther was overcome with grief and depression. Eventually he recalled the Bible’s promise of “songs in the night”, and soon afterwards wrote the song featured here. Verses four and five are not in the S.A. Song Book, but are included with this post because the fourth verse alludes to the author’s severe trials.
In 1914 Luther Bridgers remarried. He became a general evangelist with the Methodist Episcopal Church South for the next eighteen years. Following World War One, he spent some time in Belgium, Czechoslovakia and Russia preaching the Gospel of Jesus. After 1932, he pastored churches in the southern U.S., retiring in 1945, and passing on to meet the Lord in 1948.