HIDING IN THEE
William O. Cushing, 1823–1902
But the Lord has become my fortress, and my God the rock in whom I take refuge. (Psalm 94:22)
In childhood when we were frightened we wanted to run and hide in our mother’s or father’s arms until we felt the danger had passed. In the same way when trouble and sorrow disturb our adult lives, we look for a place of consolation or escape. But we can only find the deep satisfying peace of God in the midst of our storms when we are relying on the God of all peace.
William O. Cushing said that, when he wrote this hymn text in 1876, “it was the outgrowth of many tears, many heart conflicts and yearnings of which the world could know nothing.” After the death of his wife in middle age, Cushing was forced to retire from an active ministry because of poor health. He had been a successful pastor in the eastern areas of the United States. He began to be intensely interested in writing hymns, collaborating with many of the leading gospel musicians of that time. One day when Ira Sankey made a special request for a song in his gospel work, Cushing felt it was a direct call from God. He explained:
I prayed, “Lord, give me something that may glorify Thee.” It was while thus waiting that “Hiding in Thee” pressed to make itself known. Mr. Sankey called forth the tune and by his genius gave the hymn wings, making it useful in the Master’s work.
William Cushing knew personally the sorrows and turmoil of life, but he also knew where he could find safety and rest—in the “blest Rock of Ages.” When this hymn was first published, the author prefaced it with Psalm 31:2—“Be my rock of refuge, a strong fortress to save me.”
O safe to the Rock that is higher than I my soul in its conflicts and sorrows would fly. So sinful, so weary—Thine, Thine would I be: Thou blest “Rock of Ages,” I’m hiding in Thee.
In the calm of the noon-tide, in sorrow’s lone hour, in times when temptation casts o’er me its pow’r, in the tempests of life, on its wide, heaving sea, Thou blest “Rock of Ages,” I’m hiding in Thee.
How oft in the conflict, when pressed by the foe, I have fled to my Refuge and breathed out my woe. How often, when trials like sea billows roll, have I hidden in Thee, O Thou Rock of my soul.
Chorus: Hiding in Thee, Thou blest “Rock of Ages,” I’m hiding in Thee.
For Today: Psalm 4:8; Psalm 31:2; Isaiah 26:3, 4; 2 Corinthians 1:9, 10
Whenever tempests arise in your sea of life, do not hesitate to fly for refuge to the safety of your “Rock of Ages,” and rest peacefully there. Sing this musical truth as you go—