From Despair to Hope

Attempting to fight off a recent disappointment, the Spirit of God dropped a song in my heart,

“Have thine own way, Lord, Have thine own way
       Thou art the potter, I am the clay
  Shape me and mold me, after thy will
  While I am waiting, yielded and still”

As I sang this hymn over and over again, I began to wonder, “who wrote this song and why?” As I began searching website after website, and reading the background of this hymn, I began to be encouraged as I understood the reason the Holy Spirit had dropped this song in my heart.

The hymn “Have Thine Own Way Lord” is a song borne out of a young woman’s despair and disappointment. Adelaide Pollard, author of the hymn, had just experienced a great setback in her life. She had a desire to go to Africa for missions work and had set plans in motion to go, but had to cancel at the last minute due to financial reasons. Her despair over her situation drove her to a prayer service at the house of the Lord, and “as she sat there the words of a prayer, often uttered by an old lady she knew, came into her thoughts: ‘It’s all right, Lord! It doesn’t matter what you bring into our lives; just have your own way with us!’

“In that moment, her burden was lifted as she bowed her head in submission to the will of God.” That night, as she meditated on Jeremiah 18:34, she wrote the hymn “Have Thine Own Way Lord.

“Adelaide Pollard had learned that even Christians can be self-centred, self-possessed and self-willed. Even when doing God’s work, like her planned trip to Africa, she had to be careful lest it be done in the wisdom and strength of self.,In God’s own time he allowed her to go to Africa…”



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