SCRIPTURE TEXT: Come near to God and He will come near. Wash your hands, you sinner, and purify your hearts, you double minded.” -James 4:8
There is a place of quiet rest Near to the heart of God, A place where sin cannot molest,
Near to the heart of God
Chorus: O Jesus, blest Redeemer, sent from the heart of God, hold us who wait before Thee, Near to the heart of God
There is a place of comfort sweet near to the heart of God, A place where we our Savior meet, near to the heart of God
There is a place of full release near to the heart of God, A place where all joy and peace, near the heart of God.
While he was serving as a pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Chicago, Dr. McAfee was stunned to hear the shocking news that his two beloved nieces had just died from diphtheria. Turning to God and the scriptures, McAfee soon felt the lines and tune of this hymn flow from his grieving heart.
On the day of the double funeral, he stood outside the quarantined home of his brother, Howard, singing these words as he choked back tears. The following Sunday the hymn was repeated by the choir of McAfee’s church.
It soon became widely known and has since ministered comfort and spiritual healing to many of God’s people in times of need.
It is not easy burying one loved one, let alone two people at a go. I understand the feelings of the author Cleland B. McAfee who lost two nieces at a go to diphtheria, a very contagious disease. But as we observe funerals, as our loved ones depart at the river of death, we ought to ask ourselves if we have prepared to meet our creator when we are called to respond to the roll call of death.
Prayer point: Ask God to be near to you all times.
SOURCE: INSPIRING STORIES BEHIND OUR BEST-LOVED HYMNS