Precious Lord

Luke 8:23-25 tells us the great story of Jesus calming the storm.

23 As they sailed, he fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger.

24 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!” He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. 25 “Where is your faith?” he asked his disciples. In fear and amazement they asked one another, “Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.”

Thomas Dorsey, a native of Villa Rica, Georgia, was raised in a Christian home. His father was a preacher and his mom was the church organist. Dorsey, however, left home at an early age to make a life for himself in the world of jazz music. He eventually became famous for playing the piano in Al Capone’s speakeasies and other night spots in Chicago. He became the band leader for the famous jazz singer, Ma Rainey. He wrote over 400 blues and jazz songs and many became hit recordings. His life strayed far away from the Lord and the church.  

At one point in his young life he suffered a nervous breakdown, which caused him to reevaluate his life. So, he spent time in prayer, gave his life to the Lord, and began to write songs which later became known as “gospel music.” Today he is considered the father of gospel music. Not long after he began writing gospel songs, his wife died in childbirth and their newborn child died a day later.  

The musician went into a deep depression and was filled with grief. He avoided people and grew angry at God. “I just wanted to go back to the jazz world I knew so well. I felt God had done me an injustice. I didn’t want to serve Him anymore or write gospel songs.” Sometime later, despite his deep grief, at the urging of a friend, he sat down at his piano to write music once again. In the midst of his broken heart and profound grief he wrote a song that later inspired millions. It was also sung at the funerals of Martin Luther King and President Lyndon Johnson.  

Precious Lord, take my hand,

Lead me on, let me stand,

I am tired, I am weak, I am worn; 

Through the storm, through the night,

Lead me on to the light:

Take my hand, precious Lord, lead me home.  (Thomas Dorsey, 1938)  

Even in our despair and frustrations, God has a way of healing our hearts and leading us closer to Him. God is working, even in the midst of this pandemic. Something good will sprout from this time of uneasiness and uncharted waters. So, it’s best for us to simply pray to our precious Lord to take our hands and lead us through the storm. After all, He is the only one who can truly calm the storm and lead us home.