Knowing God

A heart in tune


O Thou Fount of ev’ry blessing,
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me ever to adore Thee;
May I still Thy goodness prove;
While the hope of endless glory,
Fills my heart with joy and love.

Here I raise my Ebenezer,
Hither by Thy help I’ve come!
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger
Wandering from the fold of God!
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed His precious blood

From, “O Thou Fount of Every Blessing” by Robert Robinson

As a child, this was one of those hymns I thought we should permanently put to bed.

“Honestly,” I wondered, “why are we singing songs about Ebenezers? What does that even mean?” (Ebenezer means “stone of help”)

Just as adulthood has provided a developed palette for delicacies like coffee, avocados, and even liver pate, I’ve grown to savor the richness of this old hymn.

I have loved music as long as I can remember. When I was very small, I would try to match the pitch of various motors with my voice. I grew up sitting on the pew singing hymns with the church. I taught myself a couple simple songs on the organ around age seven. At age eleven, my parents allowed me to take clarinet lessons. At age fifteen, I taught myself how to sing the different harmony parts of our congregation’s a capella hymns. I played in high school marching band, performed with the district honor band, sang in college choir, participated in a community orchestra, and currently sing tenor in a barbershop chorus.

I have a long-trained ear for singing and playing in tune—the musician’s ever-constant challenge.

Performing music is more than belting out a bunch of notes; it is a balance of sound quality, rhythm, and tuning. A virtuoso may look as though he is thinking none of these things, but that is because he has practiced for hours on end, perfecting his technique. His ear still strains to listen to variations in pitch, and his practiced body makes necessary adjustments to create the perfect sound.

I personally cannot sing without being affected by the voices around me. I might know a song by heart, but if someone around me is out of tune, I find it nearly impossible to stay in my original pitch. I adjust to what I hear because that is what I’ve trained myself to do.

The hymn above says, “tune my heart to sing Thy grace.” How can we sing in tune with God while drowning in the world’s dissonant cacophony?

For one thing, we need God’s help. God is the fount of every blessing and he teaches us tune through His word. For our part, we ought to make every effort to hear Him.

If we never take time to listen to God alone, we will never have our hearts in tune with Him. As we listen to what He says through His perfectly-pitched Word, we should make adjustments to our lives and eliminate whatever dissonance exists between us.

Today, as I come before Him in worship, may my heart be in tune with His perfect pitch. Let my ear strain to hear His Word so I can be in unison with His purpose.

14 thoughts on “A heart in tune

    1. I remember Mr. Caldrone used to tell me that if you play a song wrong enough times, after awhile it sounds right. So it’s important to fix it before it is unfixable!


  1. Elihu, this is one of my favorite hymns. I sing this often because I can relate to the lyrics you point out as well as the line in verse four that says, “Prone to wander, Lord I feel it. Prone to leave this God I love. Here’s my heart, Lord, take and seal it. Seal it for thy courts above.”

    I must be growing older (or possibly just growing) because many of the old hymns I once thought of as “crusty” and confusing, now bring tears to my eyes. I find myself raising my arms in the air just like my sweet mama used to. Yikes! Oh, well, I’ll be a fool for Jesus any day.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Like you, it took me into adulthood to really appreciate some of the old hymns I grew up with, and discover some I never knew! (Although I’ve never grown up enough to adjust to coffee or liver). “Growing up into the full stature of Christ” is a promised goal, but as you say, requires my participation.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am much the same way, Beckie. 😊 I wish our hymnal had the verse read that way because it’s so true—prone to wander!

    Hope you are thriving in the Lord, dear sister! May God bless you!


  4. I loved the analogy you used! Like your series on going back to school/college, we have to be “in tune” with our Heavenly Father and sometimes we forget, as is our natures, that the Holy Spirit is that “tuning fork” we need to keep the right tones!

    Years ago I was Praise and Worship Pastor of a church in Tucson, Arizona and I had no formal training at all, just the desire to let music open our hearts and minds to the Holy Spirit and let Him lead us into the presence of the Lord. I started out with quite a few people wanting to abandon the Hymns and Hymnals completely for more contemporary praise and worship fare, but I know the Holy Spirit was in control and with the Senior Pastor’s backing, we still used many of the classic hymns and when the congregation saw how we could incorporate not just the music, but the message of the hymns into that time of worship, we saw big changes in the hearts of the congregation as a whole!

    Music is one of the greatest and most powerful creations that the Lord gave to His creation. The enemy can’t do anything even remotely close. He can only take what God has created and try to warp and twist it, but thanks be to God Almighty, God is so much more powerful and for that we as children and heirs have something I am sure we will take through the gates of Heaven to enjoy eternally!

    Great messages I have read so far, really have enjoyed your inspiration. Will be adding your site to my Blogs Followed page, just a little way, besides praying I can help you in your service (ministry) to all the Holy Spirit brings to your pages! God bless you richly as you continue in serving the Lord and us!!

    Pastor Roland Ledoux

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Roland! Your comment is so encouraging to me. I often wish that in our singing, we would take a minute or two before each song to say a few words about the meaning of the song to turn people’s hearts towards the words rather than the music itself. Being a musician, I have times when I get caught up in notes and rhythm and lose sight of my purpose. I’ve been trying to be more intentional in my worship to focus on the words and remember why I am singing—to encourage others and to lift up my heart in praise to Almighty God.

      Thank you so much for adding me to your blog list! I feel deeply honored. God be with you.

      Liked by 1 person

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