All The Way My Savior Leads Me

It’s the words of an old man whose time on earth is almost done that captures my thoughts this morning. A man who’s been through a lot and has a story or two he could tell.

Stories from his youth, some of which he probably didn’t like to talk a lot about. Like how we extorted his brother’s birthright and then scammed his father in order to steal his brother’s blessing. Of how he had to flee his home because of his brother’s murderous wrath and ended up slaving away for twenty years under a taskmaster of an uncle. An uncle who obviously came from the same gene pool as his sly maneuvers resulted in the man ending up with two wives, Rachel and her sister Leah, instead of just the one he loved, Rachel. And then, what tales could be told of the “season” of child wars when sister jealousy and rivalry ended up with the man fathering children not only with his two wives but also with their maidservants, as well. Quiver full, sure. But probably not how he envisioned things turning out the night he thought he was going on his honeymoon with his beloved.

Then there was the sojourning and the things legends are made of. Like the night he packed up his wives, kids, and livestock and “quietly left,” unilaterally terminating his employment with his uncle only to be pursued, caught, and accused of being a thief. Or of the experience of returning home and reconciling with his brother. Or the sad and sordid account of his daughter’s rape and his sons violent revenge. Not to mention the heartbreaking saga of a favored son and a favored son’s disappearance.

And the stories could go on. Stories of visions and ladders ascending into heaven. Of wrestling with God and prevailing, sporting throughout his life the limp to prove it. Of how famine in the land gave way to finding a lost son and feasting in Egypt.

Yup, a lot of water under the bridge. Some of it somewhat pristine, but too much of it way too polluted.

Yet, with eyes dim, and illness overtaking him, when it comes time to speak last words and extend finally blessings, he would talk of . . .

“. . . the God who has been my shepherd all my life long to this day . . .”

(Genesis 48:15b ESV)

And those words penetrate deep as I hover over them and chew on them. Because, like Jacob, and like the many who can bear similar witness, I too can pause and reflect on the God who has been my shepherd. The One who has graciously led me beside still waters to places of green pasture. The One who has faithfully followed, never leaving me nor forsaking me, when I’ve wandered into fields I had no place being, only to rescue me and return me to the fold. The One who has revealed His glory when I’ve been on the mountain, and provided water from the Rock when I’ve thirsted in the desert. The One who continues to provide strength for today and hope for tomorrow.

And an old hymn comes to mind that I haven’t thought of for years and years. And I read and re-read it. I listen to a couple of different artists and groups sing it. And I bless the God of Jacob, and His Son, the Good Shepherd of His sheep. For, as the songwriter has penned, “All the way my Savior leads me!”

All the way my Savior leads me
What have I to ask beside
Can I doubt His tender mercy
Who through life has been my Guide
Heav’nly peace divinest comfort
Here by faith in Him to dwell
For I know whate’er befall me
Jesus doeth all things well
For I know whate’er befall me
Jesus doeth all things well

All the way my Savior leads me
Cheers each winding path I tread
Gives me grace for ev’ry trial
Feeds me with the living bread
Though my weary steps may falter
And my soul athirst may be
Gushing from the Rock before me
Lo a spring of joy I see
Gushing from the Rock before me
Lo a spring of joy I see

All the way my Savior leads me
O the fullness of His love
Perfect rest to me is promised
In my Father’s house above
When my spirit clothed immortal
Wings its flight to realms of day
This my song through endless ages
Jesus led me all the way
This my song through endless ages
Jesus led me all the way

— Fanny Jane Crosby | Robert Lowry

And I praise the God who has been my shepherd all my life long to this day . . .

For His grace . . . for His glory.

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