Charles Dickens published his best seller, HARD TIMES, in 1854. It is a short novel and unlike the others, is not set in London but in a fictitious north England industrial town. It deals with the terrible working conditions of the poor, contrasted with the morally corrupt wealthy. There are hard times in every era!
This morning a friend said to me, “My son never reads or listens to any news. He spends his time watching comedies!” Another friend spends her time reading bad news and sanitising everything for most of the day! A young man I know, enrolled in a Harvard university course in the subject he intends to pursue. Another family, who had to cancel a holiday in France, moved in together for a few weeks. We read that sales of Bibles have increased dramatically which is very good news. COVID has woken people up to their mortality.
Fanny Jane Crosby (1850-1915) was a famous American hymn writer, who was blind but rose to great heights, became the friend of presidents, and was the first woman to address Congress. She, too, knew hard times. She wrote a hymn: ALL THE WAY MY SAVIOUR LEADS ME. I composed a new tune for it. Click here to listen and Click here to download.
But what did our Lord do when facing the ultimate hard time, his death for the salvation of the world? He went to a garden and prayed (John 17). First, he prayed, “Father, the hour has come: glorify thy Son, that thy Son may glorify you….that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.
Then he prayed for his disciples, “Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom those hast given me”.
Finally, he prayed for “them also which shall believe on me through their word”. That is, he prayed for succeeding generations in hard times: for you, and me.
God bless and keep you