Hymn History: “Lord, I’m Coming Home”

2 min

The soloist’s voice filled the huge canopy. He possessed a rare, magnificent talent that moved his listeners to tears. Mr. William Kirkpatrick, the tent revival’s songleader, appreciated the man’s skillful vocal presentation. Yet he was burdened for the soloist’s soul. Every evening after presenting the special music, the man would leave, not remaining to hear the evangelistic messages.

Mr. Kirkpatrick’s concern for the soloist’s salvation was so great that he began praying and asking the Lord to give him a song with words that would touch the singer’s heart! The soloist was so gifted—how much more glorious if he could sing about God from his heart? Mr. Kirkpatrick continued to petition God for this man’s life. While praying for the soloist, words suddenly came to Mr. Kirkpatrick. Eagerly, the songleader wrote this refrain:

Coming home, coming home,
Nevermore to roam.
Open wide Thine arms of love,
Lord, I’m coming home.

Following those inspired words, more quickly came. Mr. Kirkpatrick swiftly jotted down verse after verse. Finally pausing, he saw he had written four stanzas! Thrilled with God’s answer to prayer, he quickly concluded writing the new hymn for the soloist to sing.

That evening, how fervently Mr. Kirkpatrick must have prayed as the soloist began singing:

I’ve wandered far away from God,
Now I’m coming home;
The paths of sin too long I’ve trod,
Lord, I’m coming home.

The singer poured his skill into the performance. But, was he hearing with his heart the words he was singing? He had sung hymns before. Mr. Kirkpatrick prayed!

After singing the new hymn, the soloist stayed for the message! That night the man gave his life to Christ. God had used the new hymn to convict him of his sin and his need for Christ. Mr. Kirkpatrick rejoiced in how God had mightily answered his prayer and drawn this talented man to Himself!

Thriftiness is “not letting myself or others spend that which is not necessary.” Being careful not to be wasteful applies to more than just money. Abilities and opportunities should also not be wasted. Seeing the soloist’s talent, Mr. Kirkpatrick desired that the man not waste any more years in sin but would use his ability for God’s glory. Are we careful with what God has given us? Whether you have a talent, special skill, or ability, are you using it for God’s glory? Or are you foolishly misusing what God has given to you? “The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light” (Romans 13:12). Indeed, let us be mindful to not squander the time or talents God has entrusted to our stewardship.

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