THERE’S WITHIN MY HEART A MELODY {He Keeps Me Singing}

But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness
will rise with healing in its rays.
And you will go out and frolic like well-fed calves.
Malachi 4:2

Sun

Once in a while a song speaks to us, not everyone at the same time. I have alluded to this occasionally, I have many friends who do not like to sing “As the deer…” but equally I know there are people for whom this has touched/pierced/opened them up in a new way, God’s way.
Being joyful, being exuberant in our praise representing the power of Christ who transforms, to sing when in the midnight hour of grief, or to sing when darkness pervades our every step, we need the indwelling Christ, only through him can we sing loud and clear, with full voice. It is easy to sing when our lives are going well, when our faith is not tested, but when we hit that pebble on the ground that is when we most need to sing. That is when we must draw close to him to shelter us from harm. This is a powerful witness to non Christians.

“There’s more to it than singing” I was told once, when I was in a very, very dark place. But the Lord had given me a voice to sing and a pen to write lyrics. When I look back at those songs created in dire circumstances when even breathing in and out was hard, I see the Lord talking to me through the writing of the lyrics, soothing and comforting me.

Because of my own experiences I tend to go looking to see what the hymn writer was going through/ feeling/ where their faith was when a song pierces me. And then the odd time someone points me to a hymn, like this one, that is so full of joy and love and peace and wonderment that I have to go find out about the hymn writer and did they write more.

Luther Burgess Bridgers was born a long time ago and began a life of preaching at seventeen. He married Sarah Vetch before either of them was twenty and they had three sons. He was a busy preacher and often was away from home. Seven years after their marriage, in 1910, he dropped Sarah and the boys at her mom’s house and trotted off to evangelise at a revival meeting in Kentucky. Phone calls were rare in those days but towards the end of the meeting he received a call to say there had been a fire and his wife and three children had burned to death.

His response, to wallow in grief, or to profess the faith he had talked. Well he was human, like us so was stunned and inactive for some time. But the Lord was not finished with him and continued His work in him. And he came to write this hymn in the same year of their deaths. 

There’s a complicated arrangement of the hymn below, simpler tunes are available and some beautiful renditions on Youtube.
Clarke’s commentary on Malachi 4:2, “With healing in his wings – As the sun, by the rays of light and heat, revives, cheers, and fructifies the whole creation, giving, through God, light and life everywhere; so Jesus Christ, by the influences of his grace and Spirit, shall quicken, awaken, enlighten, warm, invigorate heal, purify, and refine every soul that believes in him, and, by his wings or rays, diffuse these blessings from one end of heaven to another; everywhere invigorating the seeds of righteousness, and withering and drying up the seeds of sin. The rays of this Sun are the truths of his Gospel, and the influences of his Spirit. And at present these are universally diffused”

THERE’S WITHIN MY HEART A MELODY {He Keeps Me Singing}
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 ev’ry 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, 
Stirr’d the slumb’ring chords again. 
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus 
Sweetest name I know, 
Fills my ev’ry longing, 
Keeps me singing as I go.
 Feasting on the riches of His grace, 
Resting ‘neath His shelt’ring wing, 
Always looking on His smiling face 
That is why I shout and sing. 
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus 
Sweetest name I know, 
Fills my ev’ry longing, 
Keeps me singing as I go.
Tho sometimes He leads thru waters deep, 
Trials fall across the way, 
Tho sometimes the path seems rough and steep, 
See His footprints all the way. 
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus 
Sweetest name I know, 
Fills my ev’ry longing, 
Keeps me singing as I go.
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. 
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus 
Sweetest name I know, 
Fills my ev’ry longing, 
Keeps me singing as I go.

Words and Music by Luther Burgess Bridgers

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