I'd like to introduce you to a rather amazing lady who has made a tremendous impact on my life, and I'm quite sure she has impacted your life as well without you even being aware of it!
I can't say I know her personally!
I really don't know much about her!
I've never even met her!
Okay, wait, I know exactly what you're thinking.
"Barb, how is it even remotely possible for you to introduce us to a woman whom you never met, yet claim has had a huge impact on your life?"
"And how in the world can you tell us that she has influenced us as well?"
Okay, well, let me introduce you to her!
Her name is Annie Sherwood Hawks!
Annie Sherwood was born on May 28, 1835, in Hoosick, New York. Now you know why I never met her considering the fact that she was born in 1835!
From an early age, Annie was an avid reader and wrote poetry.
At the young age of fourteen, she had a poem published in a newspaper in Troy, New York, and more poems followed in several local papers.
At the age of twenty-four, Annie married Charles Hawks and they moved to Brooklyn, New York, and thus began her life as a dedicated homemaker, and later a devoted mother to their three children.
However, the most important relationship in her life was the one she shared with her Saviour.
loved the Lord!
She thought about the Lord a lot, and on occasion she wrote those thoughts down on paper and sometimes they just "happened" to rhyme!
Dr. Robert Lowry, a prominent writer of gospel songs, was Mr. and Mrs. Hawk's pastor at Hanson Place Baptist Church in Brooklyn, New York.
Dr. Lowry immediately recognized Annie's talent for writing. He encouraged her in her gift of poetry, and promised to write the music for her poems.
Mrs. Hawks continued writing, but she wasn't writing to become famous or well-known. That was the last thing on her mind. She was just following Jesus and expressing her simple faith in Him.
There is a recorded account in which Mrs. Hawks states,
“One day as a young wife and mother of thirty-seven years of age, I was busy with my regular household tasks during a bright June morning. Suddenly, I became so filled with the sense of nearness to the Master that, wondering how one could live without Him, either in joy or pain, these words were ushered into my mind, the thought at once taking full possession of me"
So Mrs. Hawks sat by an open window on that bright June morning
and began to jot down the following words
"I need Thee every hour,
most gracious Lord;
No tender voice
can peace afford.
I need Thee every hour,
stay Thou nearby;
lose their pow’r
when Thou art nigh.
I need Thee every hour,
in joy or pain;
or life is vain.
I need Thee every hour;
teach me Thy will;
in me fulfill.
I need Thee every hour,
most Holy One;
Oh, make me
Thou blessed Son."
See, I told you that more than likely you had been influenced by Mrs. Annie Hawks but was never aware of it!
Mrs. Hawks took her poem to her pastor, Dr. Lowry, who kept his word, just like he had promised, and added music to the poem, as well as writing the following refrain:
"I need Thee,
oh, I need Thee;
I need Thee;
Oh, bless me now,
I come to Thee."
Somewhere along the way, Evangelist Dwight L. Moody and his song leader, Ira Sankey, discovered the song, and, needless to say, the hymn became quite famous, much to Mrs. Annie Hawk’s surprise.
When all five verses, along with the refrain, are sung, the phrase, "I need Thee", is repeated twenty times throughout the hymn!
That right there just confirms the TRUTH of how desperately we truly DO need the Lord!
Sixteen years after writing this hymn, Mrs. Annie Hawks was widowed and understood her hymn in a whole new way.
She reflected on the power of her song,
“I did not understand at first why this hymn had touched the great throbbing heart of humanity. It was not until long after, when the shadow fell over my way, the shadow of a great loss, that I understood something of the comforting power in the words which I had been permitted to give out to others in my hour of sweet serenity and peace.”
Mrs. Annie Hawks in no way set out to be famous.
She was a homemaker and a mother who simply loved the Lord. She was simply using the talents which the Lord gave to her. Using those talents for the honor and glory of the Lord.
"And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ."
She had no idea that the words which she wrote on that bright and beautiful June morning back in 1872 would still be comforting, encouraging and blessing others to this day, and still being sung in churches around the world!
I LOVE the fact that she not only used her talents for the Lord, but she also put into practice my all time favorite saying,
"I Need Thee" is not only one of my favorite hymns, it also has become a prayer "of sorts" for me.
There are days when my symptoms are in full force and all I can manage to get out of my mouth are the words, "I need Thee, oh, I need Thee; Every hour I need Thee; Oh, bless me now, my Savior, I come to Thee."
Some days it's simply, "I need You, Lord"!
Thanks to Annie Sherwood Hawks for allowing the Lord to use her to give to us such a rich and meaningful hymn which was penned straight from the innermost depths of her heart.
A homemaker and mother who KNEW her utter and total need of her Saviour!
"For The Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations."
If you have been helped by this post and think it could be helpful to someone you know, please share this post on the social network of your choice for me.
All you have to do is click one of the buttons below.
May God Bless You,