Precious Lord, take my hand, lead me on, let me stand. I am tired, I am weak, I am worn. Through the storm, through the night, lead me on to the light. Take my hand, precious Lord, lead me home.
Have you ever had a hymn feel like home? Though I am relatively young in years, this hymn has been my favorite for a great long while because of its poignant prayer that has so often spoken to my own heart.
Life is sometimes heart-wrenching and wears a soul down – both on a personal and a communal level. Whatever we may be facing, God is already walking with us, taking us by the hand and leading us to the place we need to be.
When my way grows drear, precious Lord linger near. When my life is almost gone, hear my cry, hear my call, hold my hand lest I fall. Take my hand, precious Lord, lead me home.
The second verse seems to lead us through the dark valley mentioned in the twenty-third psalm. How true it is that at the most difficult times of our life it seems that temptation is the closest. Times of trial prove who we really are because they display whether we will do what is true or what is easy.
And yet, though the hymn writer appears to know this truth, at the heart of this verse is a trust and faith that exceeds understanding in the only One who truly can hold us up when nothing else will.
The final verse is one that is often not included in settings of this hymn. However, to me, it is perhaps the most important one. This song is a prayer of lament and all good laments end on a high note (so to speak). I offer this final stanza to you as a prayer for all of us and a reminder that no matter what may come, our precious Lord will always lead us home:
When the darkness appears and the night draws near and the day is past and gone: at the river I stand, guide my feet, hold my hand. Take my hand, previous Lord, lead me home.