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‘Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus

         Tis
so sweet to trust in Jesus, Just to take Him at His Word. Just to rest upon His
Promise and to know, “Thus saith the Lord
.” 
         My husband and I listened to these
words written more than a century ago and thought about the sweetness of
trusting Jesus. This trust comes to us in a quiet room and becomes more tangible.
Each breath we take comes with trusting Jesus. Trust is a costly word and holds
a labyrinth of rationalizations to circumvent its meaning – ‘Could have, Would
have, Should have, and Except when’s.  What
does it cost us?  Our ‘supposed-control’
over our destiny here and in the hereafter which lies solely in the hands of
Jesus…
         These lyrics were written by a soul who
found peace, and left us a message  more
than a century ago for anyone who sings this hymn. It is a legacy of trust and
peace through her heartache that led her to joy.
         Louisa M. R. Stead was born in Dover,
England in the year 1850. She gave her heart to Jesus at the age of nine
years.  In her teens, she desired to be a
missionary and tell others the message of Jesus.  In 1870 she migrated to United States, and
attending a revival in Ohio, her desire to be a missionary became even more
intense.  She prepared to go to China,
but frail health prevented her.  She
married her husband, Mr. Stead, and in 1879, they took their daughter Lilly, 4
years old, on an outing – a beach-side picnic. 
They heard screams of a young boy drowning nearby. Louisa’s husband dove
into the water to save him, but drowned in the process.  Can you understand the heartache Louisa and
her daughter felt as went through the next few days and months?
         Louisa was unable to support her
daughter financially, but her loving Christian friends often provided food.  Her faith and trust in God simply grew
stronger.  Louisa proved her trust in
Jesus, by taking her daughter and became a missionary in Southern Africa for
fifteen years. It was while in Africa, she wrote the hymn, “’Tis So Sweet To
Trust in Jesus.”  There she met and
married Robert Wodehouse.  Ill health
forced them to return to United States with her husband, who pastored in a
Methodist Church for a time.  In 1901
Robert and Louisa again returned to Rhodesia, Africa.  Louisa wrote, “one cannot in the face of the
peculiar difficulties help saying, ‘Who is sufficient for these things?’ but
with simply confidence and trust we may and do say, ‘Our sufficiency is of God.’”   
         Jesus,
Jesus, how I trust Him, How I’ve proved Him, o’er and o’er.  Jesus, Jesus, Precious Jesus, Oh, for grace
to trust Him more
!
         Louisa learned serving others lessens
grief and gives a hope-filled joy in life. 
In doing so, Louisa learned God’s love is compassionate and proves
sufficient in all things.  Louisa and her
husband retired and returned in 1911 and she died 6 years later.  What is the legacy Louisa leaves behind?  Her daughter, Lilly, grew up witnessing her
mother’s faith in action, and married D. A. Carson. Together they continue the
work in Rhodesia (Zimbabwe).  Louisa left
her legacy and testimony of faith and trust in Jesus. 
         How easy it is to give up when things
are difficult in life.  Jesus is all
about continuing to serve others and never giving up.   How many have lived lives of faith and trust
in God through the ages, without the marker of song lyrics to celebrate
Jesus.  Jesus knows and that is
enough. 
         How often I have praised God for the
legacy of faith my ancestors left me in their search for the freedom to worship
God from the sixteenth century. Their continued faith gives me a foundation of
faith to build on. Some of Louisa’s genealogical dates are near those of my
grandparents. My Mother wrote the story of her family in The Lines are Fallen.  One
grandfather (Suderman) emigrated from Russia to America in 1877, with his
family on board a ship.  My Great-
Grandfather (Siemens) emigrated from Russia at about the same time. The dates
so closely coincide with Louisa Stead’s life, it astounds me how God’s love and
Faith in Him motivates and changes the course of our lives. 
         Mother wrote:  ‘Our roots lie buried deep in Northern
Holland near the Zuider Zee where we spoke, read, and wrote in the language,
Plautt Dietch. With the great 16th century persecution we moved from
Holland.  In Prussia we were told to
learn the German language and use it exclusively for all public meetings.  In our two hundred year stay in the Danzig
area, we forgot how to read and write in our native tongue.  Although Prussia forbade its use in public,
no one could keep us from speaking Plautt Dietch in the privacy of our own
homes. Then we moved.   Russia made no
language demands. All church services, public meetings, and schools were
conducted in German.  In the homes it was
still Plautt Dietch.  After Czarina
Catherina died and her son began to rule, we resisted the young Tzar’s order to
draft our sons for his army or learn the Russian language. We moved.  In America, we learned English.’
         O,
God for every age and Christ, His Son, Your children offer songs of praise to
you:  Remember how you touched and
blessed each one? Reach down and touch each heart to make us new.  O, God for every age, we humbly pray, Bless
us your little children of today.
 
(ADS)
         I John 4: 15-16 – All who declare that Jesus is the Son of God
have God living in them, and they live in God.
We know how much God loves us, and we have put our
trust in his love.
God is love, and all who live in
love live in God, and God lives in them
.
         I Peter 1:8-9 – You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see
him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy.

The reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your
souls.
         Psalm 91:2 – This
I declare about the
Lord: He alone is my
refuge, my place of safety;
he is my God, and I trust
him
.
         John 12:13-14 – Jesus shouted to the crowds, “If you trust me, you are
trusting not only me, but also God who sent me.
For when you see me, you are seeing the one who sent
me.

         Jeremiah 17:7 – But
blessed is the one who trusts in the
Lord, whose confidence
is in Him.

Comments? eacombs@att.net

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