Guide me, O thou great Redeemer,
pilgrim though this barren land;
I am weak, but thou art mighty;
hold me with thy powerful hand;
Bread of heaven,
feed me now and evermore.
Open now the crystal fountain,
whence the healing stream doth flow;
let the fiery cloudy pillar
lead me all my journey through;
be thou still my Strength and Shield.
When I tread the verge of Jordan,
bid my anxious fears subside;
bear me through the swelling current,
land me safe on Canaan’s side;
songs of praises,
I will ever give to thee.
Words: William Williams, 1745; trans. Peter Williams, 1771, alt.
- What is happening in your life that might make you consider your daily life to be a “barren land?”
- When the hymn mentions the “fiery cloudy pillar,” what does it mean? (hint: read Exodus 40:36-38) How is the “pillar” relevant to you?
- What does the “verge of Jordan” refer to? (hint: read Joshua 3:14-17) What feels like the “verge of Jordan” in your life? Have you laid this issue before God? Are you in this place because you know that God has led you here? How will you face the challenge ahead of you?
- The hymn refers to God as bread and as the Deliverer. When do you enjoy the “bread of heaven” in your life? Why is it important? Has God ever delivered you from something you feared?
- “Canaan” in biblical literature and poetry often represents a hope-filled outcome. Is there a Canaan in your future? Is this your idea? Or did God lead you to embark on this trek? How do you expect to get there?