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Abide With Me

Where do you find help or comfort? There are many places we seek these; some do us more harm than good, while all of them can be distractions from our true Help (Isaiah 41:13) and the God of all comfort (2 Corinthians 1:3). At the end of the day (eventide), our only help comes from the Lord, who stands ready (Isaiah 65:1).

Abide with me: fast falls the eventide

The darkness deepens; Lord, with me, abide.

When other helpers fail, and comforts flee,

Lord, with me, abide.

Help of the helpless, O abide with me.

On the seven-mile walk to Emmaus, two of Jesus’ followers talked about the death of Jesus and his empty tomb, sadness written on their faces.

Someone joins them in their walk, with whom they share an account of all that has happened. In Luke 24:21, they explain, “We had hoped he (Jesus) was the Messiah who had come to rescue Israel.” According to their limited viewpoint, the death of Jesus dashed this hope. They were not aware their new travel companion was Jesus Himself.

Jesus responds by explaining all that Scripture says about him, using the writings of Moses and the prophets. As they arrived at Emmaus, Jesus gave the impression that he would keep traveling. The next verse in the story inspired the title of our hymn. Luke 24:29, “Abide with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent.”

I can appreciate their desire to have Jesus stay with them. When we have been in his presence, there is nowhere else we want to be. Not only is he our true source of help and comfort, but there is also a keen awareness that, as John 15:5 says, we can’t do anything apart from Him.

Since we have all experienced the failings of other helpers and the fleeting comfort we’ve found in other things, we share this plea from stanza one: Help of the helpless, O abide with me.

Our eventide falls faster with every passing year. We always hear from older people that time moves faster and faster as they age. And around us, the darkness deepens. Even if the same evils in this world have always been here, the dark appears ever darker to us. Lord, with me, abide.

Abide with me is the cry of our hearts as believers walking through a dark world. When everything and everyone else fails us, we know that God is with us, and he never fails. Joshua 21:45 says, “Not one word of all the good promises the LORD had made to the house of Israel has ever failed; all came to pass.” Luke 1:37 agrees, “For no word from God will ever fail.” 

Sometimes we, like the disciples, walk along, failing to recognize our travel companion, who stands ready, waiting for us to call on him to abide with us. 

Hymn lyrics by Henry Francis Lyte

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Author: Angie

I am a writer and lover of Jesus, the Bible, and hymns old and new. My husband and I have four adult children, a dog, and a cat.

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