Cecil Frances Alexander, author of this hymn, was born in 1818 in Dublin, Ireland. Even as a young child she wrote poetry and would hide it under the carpet for her father to find. Rather than punishing her as the family expected, he bought her a beautiful box in which she collected her poems and then would read them to the family on Saturday evenings. Her poetry can be found in “Once in Royal David’s City” and “All Things Bright and Beautiful.” She married William Alexander, an Anglican priest, and would write hymns for the end of his sermons. This hymn was written for Matthew 4 that we started looking at this week.
Jesus was baptized and then led into the wilderness and tested. Evil led him to doubt God’s word (“IF you are who they say you are…), God’s will (surely God does not want you to get hurt….) and God’s way (skip the cross and worship me.) Jesus responds with Scripture. So many things in life, “the tumult of life’s tempestuous seas”, rock our faith boat but Jesus calls to us even as he called Andrew and Peter to follow him a few verses later in Matthew 4.
Let us spend a moment listening to Jesus right now calling us to follow him in the journey of our lives!