The Birth Of The Hymn 

"Precious Lord, Take My Hand"

Back in 1932, I was a fairly new husband. My wife, Nettie and
I were living in a little apartment on Chicago's south side...
One hot August afternoon I had to go to St. Louis where I was
to be the featured soloist at a large revival meeting. I
didn't want to go; Nettie was in the last month of pregnancy
with our first child, but a lot of people were expecting me in
St. Louis. I kissed Nettie goodbye, clattered downstairs to
our Model A and, in a fresh Lake Michigan breeze, chugged out
of Chicago on Route 66.

However, outside the city, I discovered that in my anxiety at
leaving, I had forgotten my music case. I wheeled around and
headed back.

I found Nettie sleeping peacefully. I hesitated by her bed;
something was strongly telling me to stay. But eager to get on
my way, and not wanting to disturb Nettie, I shrugged off the
feeling and quietly slipped out of the room with my music.

The next night, in the steaming St. Louis heat, the crowd
called on me to sing again and again. When I finally sat down,
a messenger boy ran up with a Western Union telegram. I ripped
open the envelope. Pasted on the yellow sheet were the words:

People were happily singing and clapping around me, but I
could hardly keep from crying out. I rushed to a phone and
called home. All I could hear on the other end was
"Nettie is dead. Nettie is dead."

When I got back, I learned that Nettie had given birth to a
boy. I swung between grief and joy. Yet that same night, the
baby died. I buried Nettie and our little boy together, in the
same casket. Then I fell apart.

For days I closeted myself. I felt that God had done me an
injustice. I didn't want to serve Him anymore or write gospel
songs. I just wanted to go back to that jazz world I once
knew so well. But then, as I hunched alone in that dark
apartment those first sad days, I thought back to the
afternoon I went to St. Louis. Something kept telling me to
stay with Nettie. Was that something God? Oh, if I had paid
more attention to Him that day, I would have stayed and been
with Nettie when she died.

From that moment on I vowed to listen more closely to Him. But
still I was lost in grief. Everyone was kind to me, especially
one friend. The following Saturday evening he took me up to
Maloney's Poro College, a neighborhood music school. It was
quiet; the late evening sun crept through the curtained

I sat down at the piano, and my hands began to browse over the
keys. Something happened to me then. I felt at peace. I felt
as though I could reach out and touch God. I found myself
playing a melody, once in my head they just seemed to fall
into place: '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.'

The Lord gave me these words and melody, He also healed my
spirit. I learned that when we are in our deepest grief, when
we feel farthest from God, this is when He is closest, and
when we are most open to His restoring power.

And so I go on living for God willingly and joyfully, until
that day comes when He will take me and gently lead me home.

-Tommy Dorsey

For those too young to know who he is, Tommy Dorsey was a
well-known band leader in the 1930's and 40's.

Did you know that Tommy Dorsey wrote this song? I surely
didn't. What a wonderful story of how God CAN heal the
brokenhearted! Beautiful, isn't it?

Worth the reading, wasn't it? Think on the message for a
while. Thought you might like to share this, I just did.

Lookup a word or passage in the Bible

I wish for you faith and peace during all your problems or sorrows.

God Bless You!

Just a part of
God's Beauty


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