Posted by: cindybythesea | May 15, 2011

Poor WayFaring Stranger

   

Last night I was privileged to attend a wonderful program at Hawaii Theatre which included a fantastic group from the mainland singing barbershop quartet.  One of the songs they performed was “Wayfaring Stranger” the British spiritual/folk song which dates back to the 18th century.  Its been years since I had heard this song, Burl Ives made it popular in the mid-40’s bringing it to the forefront of American pop culture by making it one of his signature songs.  Last night as I listened to the haunting melody as performed by this incredibly talented foursome called Storm Front, I couldn’t help but, think how beautiful and timely the lyrics are even today.

The Bible tells us as Christians that we are “strangers in a strange land” and that our citizenship is not here on earth, but in heaven.  But, with all the distractions of the modern world, its easy to lose sight of this fact. For some reason it seems, the more we have, the less we depend on God and the blessing of “plenty” becomes the curse of greed.

Just in the last month, hundreds if not thousands of people have lost everything they owned including loved ones in the devastating tornadoes that struck across America’s heartland and now thousands more are seeing everything they worked for submerged beneath the waters of the muddy Mississippi.  Strangely enough, this is the very region from which some of America’s greatest music was born in the form of “negro spirituals” and ballads by way of African slaves who saw in their own life situations a parallel to the Israelites who were slaves in Egypt and whose hope for rescue and a better life lay in the hands of a mighty God.

Jesus said, “Blessed are they who mourn for they shall be comforted” and “blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth”.  For some reason, tragedy does more to propel us toward God than does affluence and it is in our utter hopelessness that we are able to see hope.

I really love these lyrics from WayFaring Stranger. Take a moment to read them:

I’m just a poor wayfaring stranger
While traveling through, this world of woe.
Yet there’s no sickness, toil nor danger
In that bright land, to which I go.
I’m going there to see my father
I’m going there no more to roam;
I’m just a going over Jordan
I’m just a going over home.

I know dark clouds will gather o’er me
I know my way is rough and steep;
Yet beauteous fields lie just before me
Where God’s redeemed, their vigils keep
I’m going there to see my mother
She said she’d meet me when I come;
I’m just a going over Jordan
I’m just a going over home.

I want to wear a crown of Glory
When I get home to that good land
I want to shout Salvation’s story
In concert with the Blood-Washed Band

I’m going there to meet my Saviour
To sing his praise forever more;
I’m just a going over Jordan
I’m just a going over home.

And, for the melody, listen to this rendition by Storm Front.  The quality of the audio is not the best and certainly does not do justice to this talented quartet, but, you’ll get the idea.   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NRDiUkmzX6E . 

Thanking God today for those who have gone before us.  Who understood by way of the path set out for them, the deeper riches and glory of his amazing grace.

“All these people (the patriarchs) were living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things  promised; but only saw them and welcomed them from a distance.  And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth … Instead they were longing for a better country – a heavenly one.  Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God for he has pepared a city for them.”   Hebrews 11:13-16

“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, they shall prosper who love thee”  Psalm 122:6    Waiting and watching with YOU for the soon return of Jesus!  Cindy

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Responses

  1. EVERYONE SHOULD SEE THIS VIDEO!!

    It’s a very impressive testimony of a Jewish Mother in Israel who lost more then 1 son in the REAL WAR ON TERROR. Compared to many Israeli soldiers we Christians in the West are spiritually immature whiners!

    Here’s the video:

    [Wow! What a beautiful and courageous woman! My heart was really blessed by her story; very touching. Thank you so much for posting it Dorien. C]

  2. Cindy,
    This is a great reminder that this place is not our home for those who knows Christ as LORD and Savior. This place is also not the home for those who don’t either. May the time and events that we are witnessing be the testimony of what is coming and turn people to or back to Christ. It is hard to keep moving when you have a lot of “stuff”. If Christ is your only possession, you are rich beyond measure.
    Jeff

    [ Very well said, Jeff! Thanks so much for writing! C]


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