Preparing for Worship – R. G. Huff.
The year was 1954. The place was Knoxville, Tennessee’s Atlantic Mills Discount Store. I got separated from my mother. She was shopping for cloth. I was not interested, so I wandered off into an aisle more suited to four-year-olds — toys! After a few minutes of Hasbro delight, I saw no familiar faces. In my panic, I was certain that I had been left behind — that my parents had returned to Pigeon Forge without their only child! A similar tale had been told to me about Jesus with his parents in Jerusalem.
After the PA announcer said, “Would the parents of Ronald George please come to the front entrance,” my mother abandoned her shopping cart loaded with under-priced treasures and raced to retrieve me. My father was outside enjoying Lucky Strikes, so he missed all the commotion.
We all have similar stories of being lost in a crowd, separated from the ones who cared for us most and looked out for our safety and well-being.
There are few hymn texts that deal as directly with that long-cherished Baptist tenet of the security of the believer as does “How Firm a Foundation.” We are pictured as being held in God’s righteous, omnipotent hand. We are assured that we will not, we will not be deserted by our heavenly Parent. And best of all for me, that final phrase, which has the divine declaration, “I’ll never, no never, no never forsake” those whose faith is laid on the excellent Word of God.
There is definitely a blessed assurance to be garnered from this hymn.
As the choir sings Dan Forrest’s setting of this hymn today, one of the haunting lines is emphasized and repeated: “What more can he say?” Haunting, because each time we as worshipers sing that line, we must admit that we already have enough words, examples and spiritual direction to build our lives on this foundation firmly.
During this hour of worship, let’s simply take God at God’s word … rest upon God’s promise … know what God is trying to communicate to us … and move on from there with grace to trust God more.