“Day by Day” was written by Carolina (“Lina”) Sandell (1832-1903) in 1865. Called the “Fanny Crosby” of Sweden, Sandell wrote 650 hymns, many of which were used in the evangelistic campaigns of Carl Rosenius during the Scandinavia revival. Many of the tunes, including that of “Day by Day” were written by Oskar Ahnfelt. The hymn was translated by Andrew Skoog, a Swedish immigrant to America. and appeared in American hymnals beginning in the 1920s.
Lina wrote “Day by Day” soon after witnessing the drowning of her father, with whom she was very close.
“Like many Christians, Carolina learned that when pain and tragedy strike, God may use that experience to deepen our faith. When she was 26, Carolina, or Lina (pronounced Lie-nah) as she liked to be called, experienced a tragedy which profoundly affected the course of her life. She was with her father on a ferry boat crossing Lake Vattern in Sweden. They were on the outer deck leaning against the rail enjoying the beauty of the day. Suddenly the ship lurched, and before her eyes, her father was thrown overboard and drowned before anyone could attempt to rescue him” (Enjoyingthejourney.org).
1. Day by day, and with each passing moment, Strength I find to meet my trials here; Trusting in my Father’s wise bestowment, I’ve no cause for worry or for fear. He, whose heart is kind beyond all measure, Gives unto each day what He deems best, Lovingly its part of pain and pleasure, Mingling toil with peace and rest.
2. Every day the Lord Himself is near me, With a special mercy for each hour; All my cares He fain would bear and cheer me, He whose name is Counsellor and Pow’r. The protection of His child and treasure Is a charge that on Himself He laid; “As thy days, thy strength shall be in measure,” This the pledge to me He made.
3. Help me then, in every tribulation, So to trust Thy promises, O Lord, That I lose not faith’s sweet consolation, Offered me within Thy holy Word. Help me, Lord, when toil and trouble meeting, E’er to take, as from a father’s hand, One by one, the days, the moments fleeting, Till with Christ the Lord I stand.
I NEED THEE EVERY HOUR
This hymn was written by Annie Hawks (1835-1918) in 1872, and the refrain and tune were written by Robert Lowry. Hawks, who composed over 400 hymns, was a member of Hanson Place Baptist Church in Brooklyn, New York, where Lowry was pastor. He encouraged her gift of poetry. Lowry wrote the tunes for more than 500 hymns, including “Saviour Thy Dying Love.” He also authored many hymns, both lyrics and tunes, including “Shall We Gather at the River,” “Low in the Grave He Lay,” and “Nothing but the Blood of Jesus.” He published many popular hymn collections, beginning with Pure Gold in 1871. As a preacher, he was known as a “spellbinding” orator.
Hawks recounted the context of the hymn as follows: “"One day as a young wife and mother of 37 years of age, I was busy with my regular household tasks during a bright June morning [in 1872]. Suddenly, I became so filled with the sense of nearness to the Master that, wondering how one could live without Him, either in joy or pain, these words were ushered into my mind, the thought at once taking full possession of me -- 'I Need Thee Every Hour.’” Following the death of her husband, Hawks wrote, “I did not understand at first why this hymn had touched the great throbbing heart of humanity. It was not until long after, when the shadow fell over my way, the shadow of a great loss, that I understood something of the comforting power in the words which I had been permitted to give out to others in my hour of sweet serenity and peace.”
1 I need Thee ev'ry hour,
Most gracious Lord;
No tender voice like Thine
Can peace afford.
I need Thee, oh, I need Thee;
Ev'ry hour I need Thee;
Oh, bless me now, my Savior,
I come to Thee.
2 I need Thee ev'ry hour,
Stay Thou nearby;
Temptations lose their pow’r
When Thou art nigh. [Refrain]
3 I need Thee ev'ry hour,
In joy or pain;
Come quickly and abide,
Or life is vain. [Refrain]
4 I need Thee ev'ry hour,
Teach me Thy will;
And Thy rich promises
In me fulfill. [Refrain]
MOMENT BY MOMENT
This hymn was written by Daniel Whittle (1840-1901) in 1893. Whittle was involved in the D.L. Moody evangelistic campaigns and was personal friends with Philip Bliss, Ira Sankey, and others. He edited Bliss’s memoirs (1877). He was known as “Major Whittle” from his service in the American Civil War on the Union side. He wrote about 200 hymns, often under the pseudonym “El Nathan.” Whittle was the author of “I Know Whom I Have Believed,” “Showers of Blessing,” and “Banner of the Cross.” The tunes for these were written by James McGranahan. his tune for “I Know Whom I Have Believed” is called “El Nathan.”
Ira Sankey recounted the history of “Moment by Moment.” The context was D.L. Moody’s massive evangelistic campaign at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. Moody mobilized the students at his schools and gathered workers and preachers from out of town to preach the gospel to the great crowds. Speakers included J. Wilbur Chapman and a young Billy Sunday. Moody arranged for evangelists to come from Germany, Poland, Russia, and France to preach to the international visitors in their own languages. They spread out among the great crowds and invited people to gospel meetings in more than 80 different venues. There were also open air meetings. One Sunday morning, 64,000 attended 70 different meetings. One week there were 150,000 attendees. Moody himself preached to crowds of 18,000 in a circus tent. The circus people had mockingly asked him if he thought he could get even 3,000 to come to a gospel meeting when they had so many attractions beckoning them, but six times that many attended. In some meetings, large choirs were organized. J. Wilbur Chapman said, “I am sure that in the days to come there will still be great harvests gathered from this sowing, and this World’s Fair campaign will doubtless be numbered among the greatest ever conducted by Mr. Moody.”
During this campaign, visiting preacher Henry Varley made the comment, “I do not like the hymn ‘I need Thee Every Hour.’ I need him moment by moment.” Impressed with that thought, Whittle went home that day and wrote the hymn “Moment by Moment,” completing it at 2am. His daughter, May Whittle, composed the tune. It soon became a favorite in America, Canada, England, and beyond. Evangelist Andrew Murray of South Africa adopted it as his favorite hymn and had his wife sing it in most of his meetings.
“Moment by Moment”
1. Dying with Jesus, by death reckoned mine; Living with Jesus, a new life divine; Looking to Jesus till glory doth shine, Moment by moment, O Lord, I am Thine.
Refrain: Moment by moment I’m kept in His love; Moment by moment I’ve life from above; Looking to Jesus till glory doth shine; Moment by moment, O Lord, I am Thine.
2. Never a trial that He is not there, Never a burden that He doth not bear, Never a sorrow that He doth not share, Moment by moment, I’m under His care.
3. Never a heartache, and never a groan, Never a teardrop, and never a moan; Never a danger but there on the throne, Moment by moment He thinks of His own.
4. Never a weakness that He doth not feel, Never a sickness that He cannot heal; Moment by moment, in woe or in weal, Jesus my Savior abides with me still.
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