Louisa’s Story: ‘Tis So Sweet…

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It was a beautiful day to be at the shore. Four-year old Lily giggled as the waves lapped at her toes and then darted back to the blanket where her parents were enjoying their meal. The sun was warm, the waters cool. An idyllic day.

Until the cries of a young boy reached their ears! He was out in the deep waters of the sound, flailing and fighting to keep his head above water. Lily’s father raced to rescue him, diving into the water and reaching the boy in record time. But then, as Lily and her mother Louisa watched in horror, the boy’s panic overtook both him and his rescuer. In a matter of minutes, both went under for the final time.

The year was 1879. And the mom in that true story was Louisa M. R. Stead. After that tragic day she wrestled with God. And out of that wrestling, she penned the words to a hymn that I love. She wrote:

’Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to take Him at His Word;
Just to rest upon His promise,
And to know, “Thus saith the Lord!”

Refrain:
Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er;
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
Oh, for grace to trust Him more!

Oh, how sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to trust His cleansing blood;
And in simple faith to plunge me
’Neath the healing, cleansing flood!

Refrain:
Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er;
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
Oh, for grace to trust Him more!

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.

Refrain:
Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er;
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
Oh, for grace to trust Him more!

I’m so glad I learned to trust Thee,
Precious Jesus, Savior, Friend;
And I know that Thou art with me,
Wilt be with me to the end.

Refrain:
Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er;
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
Oh, for grace to trust Him more!

Oh, for grace to trust Him more! And she did trust Him more and more.
Enough to get on a boat with Lily and head to South Africa to work as a missionary. This had been a life-long dream but poor health had prevented her from going earlier. There on the field she met her second husband, Robert Wodehouse. Together they served the Lord in South Africa, the U.S. and finally Southern Rhodesia (which is present day Zimbabwe.)

Oh, for grace to trust Him more!
To believe, when tragedy struck, that this was not the end of the road for her and God.
To move forward when all appeared to be lost.
To move out in faith into the unknown of being a missionary on foreign soil as a widow with a young child.

Oh, for grace to trust Him more!

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