Posts Tagged ‘Near to the Heawrt of God by Cleland B. McAfee’

God’s Heart

The other evening several of us were sitting at mother’s bedside singing some of the old familiar precious hymns of faith and hope; “Solid Rock, Great Is Thy Faithfulness, Shall We Gather at the River, I Love to Think of My Home Above, Oh Come Angel Wings, Blessed Assurance, What A Friend We Have In Jesus, Power In the Blood, I Have Decided to Follow Jesus, Near To The Heart of God, Sweet Peace the Gift of God’s Love (mother’s favorite)…..” mother was singing along and it was a binding together time of worship, hope, love and faith. The hymns spoke to and of our heart need.

Mother’s time on earth is drawing to a close and yet as a family we could sing songs about gathering together some day in heaven. I mentioned to mother to stand by that grand river and watch for us to come. Music has a way of binding us together and connecting us with God’s heart. Scriptures says “He inhabits the praises of his people” (Psalms 22:3). To think that when believers sing together it moves the heart of God in a special way and He literally comes near. A holy, almighty, loving, Father God settles himself in our midst. Do I really comprehend how tender and precious that is. Maybe we should sing all day long!

As we were singing, I was reminded of another precious time when a song ministered to me through my granddaughter Lauren. She was sitting on my lap in church when a song touched and moved her even at the tender age of 18 months. I have never forgotten the experience. As I watched my ninety-two year old mother attempting to sing along and my dad moping his eyes, I knew we were on holy ground. It was a moment to be treasured and remembered.

Below is the blog post I wrote July 6, 2003.

By Cleland B. McAfee

There is a place of quiet rest, Near to the heart of God:

A place where sin cannot molest, Near to the heart of God

Chorus:  O Jesus, blest Redeemer, Sent from the heart of God,

Hold us, who wait before Thee, Near to the heart of God

 

There is a place of comfort sweet, Near to the heart of God;

A place where we our Savior meet, Near to the heart of God

 There is a place of full release, Near to the heart of God;

A place where all is joy and peace, Near to the heart of God.

Sitting on Grandma’s lap in church is a very special privilege and one my granddaughters relish.. On this particular Sunday, it was 18-month-old Lauren who reached out her arms to me after Sunday school. As we worshipped in singing, Lauren amused herself by quietly flipping the pages of the songbook When the chorister started to lead “Near to the Heart of God”, she pushed the book aside, turned around on my lap, wrapped her arms around my neck and laid her head on my shoulder. With her little heart quietly beating on mine, Grandma and Lauren shared a very special bond for the entire song. With my head resting gently against hers, I gently rubbed her back hoping to not break the specialness of the moment. Suddenly the words of the song took on new meaning. It was as if Lauren knew and understood the words to that precious song. Tears welled in my eyes as I vividly saw my Jesus gently rocking and holding me tight. It was a holy moment to be near to the heart of God and my granddaughter unknowingly showed me how precious it is.

Meeting Jesus in a quiet place is a special privilege that only His children know. Words cannot convey the pure love of the moment when my heart beats against God’s heart and He wraps His arms around me, holding me tight. That moment doesn’t happen accidentally.

Psalm 73:28 says, “It is good for me to draw near to God.” God is always there, but I have to turn and give God a squeeze. It is a “place of full release, where all is joy and peace, near to the heart of God.”

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