As I sit down with the challenge to write about my favorite hymn from among the many I love so well, I am immediately settled in my mind because today is our twelfth wedding anniversary. There is such an abundance of rich, precious hymns in our hymnal to choose from, but for me there is one hymn that stands out above the rest. Its words have proven to be true over and over in our lives.
When we were married on the 24th May, 2005, someone commented that we had chosen unusual hymns for our wedding ceremony. I remember being slightly surprised by this comment, but upon reflection perhaps our selection of hymns wasn’t the norm for a wedding. To us, our wedding day was as much about our consecration as a couple to the Lord as it was about our declaration of love for each other. This was reflected in our choice of wedding hymns and one of the pieces we chose was the beautiful hymn by Leonard Weaver, “I Have a Shepherd.”
Following Jesus, ever day by day,
Nothing can harm me when He leads the way;
Darkness or sunshine, whate’er befall,
Jesus, the Shepherd, is my All in All.
It would be difficult not to say a resounding “Amen” after reading this refrain. How true those words have been to us, as we have navigated married life together! The Lord has certainly led us in paths we could never have imagined, even to this very day as we now live in Canada, and serve the Lord here. He has proven to be our “all in all.” I can fully echo the sentiment contained in the first verse too, “How He has blessed me tongue can never tell.”
While it is difficult to fully articulate what the Lord has done for me throughout my life, I am confident that surrender to the Lord is everything. If we follow Him every step of the way, we have no need to fear the future, even though what is ahead may appear impossible for a time. Why? He is the One who holds the future, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).
At times the Lord may press on our hearts some task that we feel is beyond us, or we fear the outcome of some present providence. I know what that’s like, yet I’m thankful to be able to encourage you to trust the Shepherd and Bishop of your soul. The way ahead may be uncertain, but the outcome is certain to be good: good for us personally, and good in the eyes of the One who is leading the way. Just as David wrote in Psalm 23, I have assurance that “mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.”
Therefore, let us never fear to put all of our lives on the altar, holding nothing back from the Lord. Truly His ways are perfect. And thus, may each one of us be able to rest in these comforting words:
Pastures abundant doth His hand provide,
Still waters flowing ever at my side,
Goodness and mercy follow on my track,
With such a Shepherd nothing can I lack.
Mrs. Melanie Thomassian, is the wife of Rev. Armen Thomassian, minister of Calgary Free Presbyterian Church, Alberta.