Child of the King – Carolyn Wood’s Devotional – July 18, 2021


But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  Romans 5:8 

“As I left my hometown of Cazenovia, New York,” wrote the author of this hymn, Harriet (Hattie) Buell, “bound for the 1876 camp meeting held at the Thousand Island Park in upper New York State, my heart was hungering for the spiritual food I knew would be awaiting me there.  It was an occasion I looked forward to each year, for God seemed to speak to people’s hearts and especially to mine in an unusual way at that hallowed spot.”

“I will never forget the opening Sunday morning service.  Beginning with the doxology and through each hymn and Scripture, it all served to remind me of the greatness of a God who had made the earth, the skies, and the great universe, yet loved and cared for us, His children.”

“The speaker that morning chose as his topic our relationship to God through His Son, Jesus Christ.  How man, as a sinner, was alienated and far from God; but how he became an heir of God and a joint heir with Jesus Christ through faith in His finished work on the Cross.  In the course of the message, the speaker could control himself no longer and shouted, ‘Christian friends, we are the children of a King!  Our Heavenly Father’s a King!  Poor ones, take heart, you’ll have a palace someday built for you by Jesus Himself!’

“I don’t have to tell you that I felt as if I were walking on air as I left that service and as I walked toward my cottage.  The complete set of words had come to me, and I entitled them, ‘The Child of a King.’”

Meanwhile the Lord was preparing John Sumner to compose the music for Hattie’s poem.  Sumner, a young pastor in Pennsylvania, had traveled with his family throughout the Susquehanna Valley, teaching in singing schools.  One of his greatest joys had been meeting hymnist Philip Bliss.  When the stunning news came of the terrible train wreck that took Bliss’s life, Sumner knelt and prayed that in some way he might continue and complete Bliss’s work.

The following February, while reading a Methodist revival magazine, The Northern Christian Advocate, he found Hattie’s poem and set it to music.  Gaining quick popularity, it soon found its place beside Bliss’s songs in the gospel hymnbooks of the day.

As good parents watch over and protect their children, so God is there for us 24 hours a day.  He is our strength and shield.  He plans each day and has it ready for us long before we arise from bed.  He also provides the strength we need each step of the way.  Instead of assessing our energy level and wondering about what’s on the road ahead, we need to concentrate on staying in touch with God.  His Power flows freely into us through our open communication.  We need to refuse to waste energy worrying, and we will have strength to spare.

Whenever we start to feel afraid, we need to remember that God is our Shield.  But unlike inanimate armor, He is always alert and active.  His Presence watches over us continually, protecting us from both known and unknown dangers.  If we entrust ourselves to His watchful care, which is the best security system available.  

I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go. Genesis 28:15

At times it is extremely difficult just to trust and lean on God, especially when we are not well or troubles and confusion surround us.  For me, I tend to want to just grab the reigns and run off in my own chosen direction and that is exactly what our Father is asking us NOT to do.  Leave those reigns in the more experienced hands, in the hands of God.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight.  In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

This task is very plainly stated, but is one of the most difficult ones for me to accomplish most of the time.  I pray today that wherever you may be in your own personal faith journey, take a moment and think on these words; let them wash over you like a warm summer rain.  Accept the cloak of protection He gives each of us and live more freely as a confirmed child of the King!

Mike Allen/Tim Duncan/Brock Speer

Grace, Peace and Joy to you as you listen!