Draw my soul to Thee, my Lord
Make me love Thy precious Word.
Bid me seek Thy smiling face
willing to be saved by grace.
Dearest Jesus, bid me come;
Let me find Thyself, my home.
Thou the refuge of my soul,
Where I may my troubles roll.
Lord, Thy powerful work begun
Thou will never leave undone;
Teach me to confide in Thee
Thy salvation’s wholly free.
-J. Adams, 1838
This past week was Bethlehem College & Seminary’s Spring break. For many, it has been a time of catching up on Greek and Hebrew paradigms, getting ahead on weekly reading, or frantic writing of almost-due papers. Many students have finished midterms and are beginning to feel the pressure of the end of the Spring semester. Homework is ever on a student’s mind. Faculty and staff are feeling the pressure as well. There are papers to grade, sermons to write, licensure and accreditation paperwork to fill out, and lectures to be prepared.
In all of this hustle and bustle, it is easy to lose sight of what is ultimate. J. Adams’ hymn, quoted above, highlights that reality. In Bethlehem’s don’t-waste-your-life culture, we often forget that the goal of our working is loving and resting in Jesus. While the hymn above, taken from Gadsby’s Hymnal from the mid-1800’s, never mentions the word “rest,” the second stanza does speak a prayer we ought to have every time we rest.
Left to ourselves, we will continue to be consumed by the never-ending tyranny of the urgent. Rather, we ought to pray with Adams, “Dearest Jesus, bid me come; Let me find Thyself, my home.” This prayer for Jesus to be the refuge of our soul upon whom we can rest our troubles highlights two important realities for believers. First, believers must keep on seeking their rest-filled salvation in Jesus. Our faith must be a persevering faith—a faith that God gives throughout our lifetime (Phil 1:6). We need a faith that sings, “Lord, Thy powerful work begun Thou will never leave undone.”
Second, coming to Jesus for refuge and rest is only something Jesus can bring about. We can only come if Jesus bids us come, which is why we need to pray for Jesus to draw our souls to him. He must make us “love Thy precious Word,” and he must bid us “seek Thy smiling face.” He must teach us to “confide in Thee Thy salvation’s wholly free.” Salvation is a free gift of grace, not something we earn or gain through anything we do (Eph 2:8–9). Only Jesus can (and will) keep us until the end (John 6:37–40).
This is exactly what we need to be reminded of during this Spring break. May Jesus draw our souls to rest in him when he calls (Matt 11:28).
(You can listen to a contemporary version of this hymn here.)
- Pray that students take time away from their studies to rest in Jesus.
- Pray that God would help the faculty and staff to not be so distracted by the tyranny of the urgent that we forget what is most ultimate—our resting in Jesus.
- Pray that God would enliven our hearts to be praying for persevering faith in our loved ones, our students, and our faculty and staff.
- Pray for the board of trustees retreat; our board is going to be meeting for strategic planning in the next few weeks and needs the Lord’s guidance in decision making and planning for the future.
- Pray for our current accreditation and state licensure endeavors. Over the next few months we will begin writing a self-study for our accreditors and submitting paperwork to renew our state licensure.
- Praise the Lord for the progress our On The Double campaign has seen. We are over half-way to our matching grant goal!