Sunday, June 02, 2019

Walk With God hymn

While researching the Harp of Ages songbook, I found the following hymn story on the now defunct Salvation by Grace Alone website. Submitted by David Montgomery, it relates Darrene Collins’s story of her hymn Walk with God (No. 238 in Harp of Ages). It was added to the book in 1973. Here is the hymn, followed by part of the story.

1. I love the quietness of the morning,
The peaceful beauty of the day;
I love to go there to my bower
And humbly bow my head and pray.

2. Oh, what a joy and peace it gives me,
To talk to Jesus in a prayer;
It gives me hope and consolation,
It lifts me from my ev’ry care.

3. Things seem brighter in the morning,
As God so boldly shows His face;
Makes me want to shout His praises,
And thank Him for amazing grace.

Oh, that His grace and mercy guide me,
That when it’s finished I can say;
When the evening sun is setting,
I have walked with God today.

Mrs. Collins tells the story of a tornado in Texas in April 1971 – not many months after they had moved back to their farm in Texas from Kansas. The tornado picked up their trailer home “shook it, and then gently turned it over on its side…we were all in our beds. As the house turned over our beds being on top of us protected us from flying objects.” A few days after this they had another stormy night, and the next day “alone with God and my thoughts,” she says, “I sat down and wrote the three verses to ‘Walk With God’ and laid it on top of the refrigerator and forgot about it.”

“A few days later, my father and mother came to see us. He was helping to get some new songs together for another edition of the ‘Harp of Ages’. He asked me if I had any poems, which would make good songs. I thought of the one I had written about the quietness of the morning and gave it to him. Dad took it home, wrote the music and the chorus and titled it.”

This song was published in the 1973 Harp of Ages and later added to the Old School Hymnal. There are some minor differences in the words in the Old School Hymnal.

Darrene is the daughter of Mitchell Morris Nowlin and Sarah Robbie Biggs. Morris was born in Mississippi on April 19, 1915 to Benjamin Nowlin and Lucie Ausburn. On October 9, 1937, he married Robbie Biggs, daughter of Lee and Elizabeth Biggs. He died September 1, 2010. Robbie was born in Hill County, Texas, and was the granddaughter of Robert Alexander Biggs (a Primitive Baptist preacher) and great-granddaughter of Benjamin Franklin Biggs, both of whom at one time lived in Rusk County, Texas.

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