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.