Because He Lives
Not only do I love hymns, I enjoy learning the inspiration behind them. This month’s song spotlight is a very popular hymn written by Bill and Gloria Gaither, “Because He Lives”. Gloria shared the backstory in an interview with Robert J. Morgan, the author of “Then Sings My Soul”.
It was the sixties when Gloria and Bill started their family. The country was in an uproar. Racial tensions divided the nation, the Vietnam conflict claimed many lives, and tensions on university campuses left many disillusioned. Because of the social climate, the Gaithers were determined to “write songs with lasting answers to the turmoil of the human spirit” (Morgan, p. 299).
In addition to the national turmoil, the couple were experiencing their own personal ordeal. In 1969, the Gaithers got the news they were expecting their second child, which came as a complete surprise to them. She stated that they wanted more children but not so soon after the first child. Her body had not recovered from the first pregnancy. Besides this, Bill contracted mononucleosis. Greatly discouraged by the state of the country and their own situation, they wondered what the world would be like in sixteen years. What would their child have to face?
After much prayer, Gloria and Bill realized that hope does not stem from a stable world, but it is only in the resurrected life of Jesus. Their baby was delivered safely and a few weeks later this much-loved hymn for born. Notice the words to the verse:
"How sweet to hold Our newborn baby And feel the pride And the joy that he gives But greater still The calm assurance We can face uncertain days Because he lives"
Just like in the sixties, we are experiencing racial tensions, social injustices, and a pandemic that have left many disillusioned and displaced. This verse is especially meaning since my first grandbaby was born two months ago. Although she’s been born at the cruelest of times of unrest and uncertainty, she can face the uncertainty of tomorrow because Jesus lives. Let’s not put our hope in the economy or the upcoming election, but let’s put our hope in Jesus. He never fails.
“There is hope in your future, says the Lord…” (Jeremiah 31:17, NKJV)
Morgan. R. J., 2004. Then Sings My Soul, Book 2. W. Publishing, Nashville, TN.