Words and Music by N. B. Vandall, 1896–1970
… weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning. (Psalm 30:5)
How much more content we are if we know that after some trying or painful experience, there will be pleasure and a reward. Such thoughts help to spur on the athlete in competition, a mother during the birth of a child, or a weary workman on his way home to a warm fire and loved ones. It was in the midst of a tragic personal experience that the author and composer of the hymn was moved to express this consoling thought.
N. B. Vandall, a singer and a well-known gospel evangelist, was rushed to the hospital to discover that his son Paul had just been struck by a car and was critically injured. The doctor held out very little hope for recovery. Mr. Vandall recalled:
For one hour and fifteen minutes, I held on in prayer while they cleaned and sewed up the head wounds and set the broken bones. Wearily I made my way back to my humble home. I tried to comfort my wife, when, in my own heart, I had no assurance. I fell on my knees and tried to pray, saying only, “O God!”
Hardly had those words been uttered when God came. It seemed to me that Jesus knelt by my side and I could feel His arms around me as He said, “Never mind, my child. Your home will be visited with tribulation and sorrow, but in the afterwards to come, these things shall not be. Your home is in heaven, where all tears shall be wiped away!”
Brushing aside my tears, I made my way to the piano and wrote the song “After.” Paul did recover from the accident. He is still very nervous and his eyesight is impaired, but I thank God for His goodness in giving him back to us. God in His wisdom, through heartache, gave a song that has since been a comfort to a vast number of His people.
After the toil and the heat of the day, after my troubles are past, after the sorrows are taken away, I shall see Jesus at last.
After the heartaches and sighing shall cease, after the cold winter’s blast, after the conflict comes glorious peace—I shall see Jesus at last.
After the shadows of evening shall fall, after my anchor is cast, after I list to my Savior’s last call, I shall see Jesus at last.
Refrain: He will be waiting for me—Jesus, so kind and true; on His beautiful throne, He will welcome me home—after the day is through.
For Today: John 14:2, 3; 1 Corinthians 2:9; 2 Corinthians 5:1, 6, 8; 2 Peter 1:3, 4
Perhaps some sorrowful or stormy time has served to make God’s presence more real in your life. Thank Him for this, and for His promise of seeing Jesus “after the day is through.” Carry this promise with you as you go—