ABIDE WITH ME (By: Henry Francis Lyte)

Henry F. Lyte battled poor health all of his life, yet was a pillar of the church of England. He suffered since childhood from asthma, yet persevered through school and became a pastor.
He pastored a church, although frail and sick. He provided great encouragement and spiritual food to his flock and was well loved for his caring ways and kind words. He was known to have said this quote: "IT IS BETTER TO WEAR OUT THAN TO RUST OUT!" When he was around 50 years old, he was told he had tuberculosis and didn't have long to live. Yet he continued on with his pastoral duties. Several years later, his doctor told him he should move to Rome and enjoy the Italian countryside in warmer climate. When the last time came for him to deliver his last sermon before he left, he practically had to crawl into the pulpit. He urged his congregation to prepare to meet their Maker. When he went home that night, he wrote the hymn "ABIDE WITH ME."
He soon left on his trip to Rome and became so weak that he had to be bed-ridden. A few weeks later, he died. His hymn went on to become well-known throughout the world. It was so meaningful and comforting to Christians everywhere. Survivors of the Titanic told of the hymn being sung as the ship was sinking. Prisoners were heard singing it, and survivors of WWI recalled the British nurse Edith Cavel singing it as she faced a firing squad for sheltering soldiers.
Henry Lyte's ability to see clearly the strength of God was most likely due to his earthly weakness. This saint's endurance and faithful service to God is a resounding example to the world still today!


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