Leaving Behind A Legacy

Leaving Behind A Legacy

This post has been put on hold for the past two weeks because the Lord gave me other words to share instead. But I'm very thankful it's being published today because it holds a very special place in my heart.

Sunday, September 24th, was a bittersweet day for me. It was the sixth anniversary of my Mom's home going. The day she left this world behind and entered Heaven, beholding Jesus face-to-face! That definitely is the sweet part!

The bitter part is how much I miss her.

My Mom and I were privileged, to not only enjoy an extremely close mother daughter relationship, but also "a best of friends" relationship!

There have been SO MANY times over the past six years when I just wanted to pick up the phone and talk to my Mom! 

Have her rejoice along with me that I made it to church!

Share with her the latest happenings with my health.

Laugh over absolutely nothing at all until neither of us could catch our breath!

Letting the tears flow freely knowing she completely understood.

Simply telling her that I loved and missed her. 

But I KNOW she's with the Saviour and that brings me overwhelming JOY and PEACE!

As I've been thinking about my Mom more than usual lately, I also thought about her favorite hymn. So I began to do some research and I'd like to share what I found!

It was 1885 and Carl Boberg had recently quit his work as a sailor and started working as a lay-minister in his home country of Sweden. He would later become a newspaper editor and a member of The Swedish Parliment.

One afternoon as Carl and some friends were returning home after having participated in an afternoon worship service, a thunderstorm began to appear on the horizon. They hurried to find shelter as the thunder clapped loudly, the lightning flashed across the sky and the wind was blowing fiercely across the fields of grain.

After the storm passed by, the clear sky appeared with a beautiful, brilliant rainbow!

When Carl arrived at his home, he opened the window toward the sea and heard the church bells playing what seemed like the tune of a hymn. That evening he wrote a poem which he titled, "O Store Gud".

Mr. Boberg’s nine-verse poem did get published in the newspaper, however, it appeared that it was destined to be totally forgotten.

BUT in 1891 someone stumbled upon the poem and proceeded to put the words together with a traditional Swedish melody! 

Needless to say, when Mr. Boberg heard about this, he was thrilled, and immediately published the poem in his own newspaper, but this time added the musical notation!

Now we jump WAY ahead to the 1930's when somehow this poem, which had now been set to music, traveled across the borders to Poland where English missionaries, Reverend and Mrs. Stuart Hine, heard the song in Russian. 

Mr. Hine was so deeply moved by the song that he tweaked the musical arrangement, changed some of the wording, translated it into English and took it home with him to England.

In English,

the song

was now called,

“How Great 

Thou Art”

Evangelist Dr. Edwin Orr heard this new version of the song in the 1940's being sung by native tribal people in Assam, India, and being deeply inspired by it, he brought the song back to the United States! No one knows for sure how the song ever got to India in the first place!

George Beverly Shea discovered the song in 1954 and sang it nearly 100 times during The 1957 Billy Graham New York Crusade!

In 1959 it became the theme song for Billy Graham’s weekly radio broadcast, bringing, “How Great Thou Art”,  into the national limelight.

It's truly amazing that this song, which has over seventeen hundred documented recordings, has been used on major television programs, in major motion pictures, has traveled around the globe, and has been named as the favorite Gospel song of at least three United States’ presidents, was originally written as a poem in a small town in Sweden by a sailor turned minister!

That's how

our God works!

However, Carl Boberg, never got to know the influence of his poem. He passed away in 1940, over a decade before, “How Great Thou Art”, became famous at the Billy Graham Crusade in New York City.

We, too, may never know which of our words or actions will influence, not only the people around us, but those living into the next generation!

We make 

ourselves 

available

to the Lord

and leave

the rest

up to Him.

Like Carl Boberg, my Mom is also in Heaven, and also like Mr. Boberg, my Mom's legacy continues to live on.

I call to remembrance when she trusted Christ as her personal Saviour. She got saved late in life, but that didn't stop her from telling everyone she knew, and even those she didn't know, about Jesus!

If I stop and listen closely I can almost hear her sweet voice calling out in prayer on behalf of others, especially her family. She was a strong and mighty prayer warrior.

Oh, the MANY precious memories stored in my heart of the conversations which she and I shared about the Lord's goodness, mercy and grace.

After she passed away, I was honored to receive her Bibles. I carefully read every scribbly note in the margins, every jotted word in the flyleaves, every sticky note left on the pages!

Treasures

way beyond

ANYTHING

money could

EVER afford! 

My Mom lived the last twenty years of her life with excruciating and debilitating arthritic pain and also pain from scoliosis. In her last years of life, she became crippled and wheelchair bound.

One day as I was leaving through one of her Bibles, a tiny slip of paper fell out.

It simply said,

"I'd rather live with all this pain and have Jesus, than live pain-free and not have Jesus!"

Such simple words, but what a very profound message!

Those words which my Mom penned on a tiny slip of paper several years ago, truly help to get my focus back where it needs to be when I'm dealing with my own physically, challenging, painful days. 

My Mom

may be

in Heaven,

but she's still

encouraging me!

I thank the Lord for the godly legacy which my Mom left for me and for so many others.

"One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts."
Psalm 145:4

My sweet Mom back in 2005!

Lord, may I, too, leave a godly legacy for those who come behind me. When others view my life, may they see Christ, the hope of glory.

"We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done."
Psalm 78:4

I thank

the Lord

for the legacy

Carl Boberg

left for us

in the

following song!

My Mom's

favorite hymn!

Resources:
Wikipedia
Crosswalk.com

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May God Bless You,

Barb

2 Comments

  • Linda

    October 21, 2017 at 5:00 pm Reply

    What an amazing history this hymn has! How great Thou art - such a strong declaration of truth! And a firm favourite, that stirs the heart even though it's been heard hundreds of times.
    Legacy - we all leave one. My prayer is like yours - "when others view my life, may they see Christ, the hope of glory". Thank you for doing the research, Barb - it has blessed. Sending much love and hugs your way.

    • Barb

      October 21, 2017 at 8:59 pm Reply

      Linda, isn't it amazing the stories behind some of our most favorite hymns. I am enjoying doing the research on these timeless songs. I look forward to doing more posts that include the "stories" behind the songs. I'm so thankful that the post was a blessing to you my dear friend ... PRAISE THE LORD! I love you and I am sending loads of hugs and love your way!!!

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