Lyricist Louisa M. R. Stead was born in 1850 in Dover, England and immigrated to the United States as a young adult, living in Cincinnati, Ohio. There she married Mr. Stead, and the two were blessed with a daughter named Lily. When the daughter was but four years old, while vacationing at New York’s Long Island Sound, Mr. Stead responded to the peril of a drowning young lad. As beloved wife and daughter watched, both Mr. Stead and the boy drowned. This crisis of faith birthed these lines.
Shortly thereafter the widow traveled with her daughter to South Africa, serving as a missionary for a decade and a half. In this time, she remarried to a Mr. Wodehouse. The family returned to America due to Louisa’s health in 1895 but soon reentered the mission field. In 1900, arriving at the mission in Southern Rhodesia, she penned: “With simple confidence and trust, we may and do say, ‘Our sufficiency is of God,’” Upon her passing, a friend noted; “ We miss her very much, but her influence goes on as our five thousand native Christians continually sing this hymn in their native tongue.
‘Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to take him at his word;
Just to rest upon his promise;
Just to know, “Thus saith the Lord.”
Jesus, Jesus, how I trust him;
How I’ve proved him o’er and o’er.
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
O for grace to trust him more.
O, how sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to trust his cleansing blood;
Just in simple faith to plunge me
‘Neath the healing, cleansing flood!
Yes, ‘tis sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just from sin and self to cease;
Just from Jesus simply taking
Life, and rest, and joy, and peace.
I’m so glad I learned to trust thee,
Precious Jesus, Saviour, friend;
And I know that thou art with me,
Wilt be with me to the end.
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