Gabriel's Horn, Pastor George Weaver, May, 2018

posted Apr 25, 2018, 2:38 PM by Lois Kerchner

Then Sings My Soul – An Awesome Creator

With the temperature hitting 80 plus degrees on successive days in mid-April this year I thought of the words of the poet, James Russell Lowell, who wrote the following:

And what is so rare as a day in June? Then, if ever, come perfect days;

        Then Heaven tries earth if it be in tune, And over it softly her warm ear lays;
        Whether we look, or whether we listen, We hear life murmur, or see it glisten;
        Every clod feels a stir of might, An instinct within it that reaches and towers,
        And, groping blindly above it for light, Climbs to a soul in grass and flowers;

In the 2nd half of the 20th century a song/hymn with words and music by Stuart K. Hine, based on a 19th century poem by the Swedish poet Carl Gustave Boberg, became very popular. How Great Thou Art! has been performed by many artists over the years, including Elvis Presley. It became the theme tune for Billy Graham's weekly Hour of Decision and has received two Grammy Awards. It remains protected under copyright until March 2059.

The second stanza and chorus go like this:

When through the woods and forest glades I wander
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees
When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur
And hear the brook, and feel the gentle breeze

Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee;
How great Thou art! How great Thou art!

According to a leading American hymnologist, “This great hymn teaches three essential truths, the greatness of God's creation, the greatness of Christ's redemption and the greatness of our future inheritance.” The grief and sorrow of refugees fleeing from Eastern Europe, separated from their loved ones, prompted Stuart Hines in 1948 to write a fourth stanza, a verse inspiring hope for a future reunion in Heaven.

Furthermore, an example of one optional extra verse goes as follows:

When burdens press, and seem beyond endurance,
Bowed down with grief, to Him I lift my face;
And then in love He brings me sweet assurance,
“My child! For thee sufficient is my grace.”

As the Psalmist exclaims, “You are Lord God All-Powerful! No one is as loving and faithful as you are - Ps. 89:8 (CEV).

George Weaver, Pastor of Maturing Ministries