Friday, April 26, 2013

"I Know Not What Awaits Me"

“I Know Not What Awaits Me”
James 4:14
  Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

News Headlines ~ Chicago Tribune ~ December 30, 1876  
Gospel Singer and Song Writer Burns To Death in Tragic Train Wreck

The railroad train on which Mr. and Mrs. P. P. Bliss rode to their death left Buffalo, New York, on Friday afternoon, December 29, 1876. At eight o'clock that evening, while approaching Ashtabula, Ohio, and crossing a ravine, the bridge gave way, and the train, with its 160 passengers plunged into the ravine. 

It was the worst winter night of the year and the Pacific Express was three hours behind schedule. The train was creeping across the bridge, when something under the bridge snapped. For an instant, there was confusion, the cracking of wooden beams, and then the crash of the train, headlong into the ravine.  For a moment there was silence and then arose the cries of the injured and suffering; the few who remained unhurt hurried to help others or to escape from the shattered cars. They crawled out of windows into freezing water waist-deep. Men, women and children, with limbs bruised and broken, and some pinched between heavy timbers, begged with their last breath for help, which no human power could give. 

Five minutes after the train fell, fire broke out. The fire was fanned by high winds, keeping the wooden coaches ablaze. Mr. Bliss succeeded in escaping from the wreckage and crawled to safety through a window.  He soon realized his dear wife was pinned under the ironwork of the seats. Returning to the car, he bravely remained at her side attempting to release her maimed body from the mangled beams. Men who, in the bewilderment of the shock, went back after wives and children and found them suffocating and roasting in the flames. In less than ten minutes after the catastrophe, every car in the wreck was on fire. There were no remains that could ever be identified from the fire. The bodies of Mr. and Mrs. P. P, Bliss were never recovered but his trunk reached Chicago safely.

When the trunk was opened, it was found that the last song that he had written, before his death, began as follows: "I know not what awaits me. God kindly veils my eyes..." The trunk contained many hymn-poems which he had not yet written the music for. One song not yet finished was My Redeemer, which became world famous, when music was added by James McGranahan. 

My Redeemer
I will sing of my Redeemer,
And His wondrous love to me;
On the cruel cross He suffered,
From the curse to set me free.

Sing, oh, sing, of my Redeemer,
With His blood, He purchased me;
On the cross, He sealed my pardon,
Paid the debt, and made me free.

I will praise my dear Redeemer,
His triumphant pow’r I’ll tell,
How the victory He giveth
Over sin, and death, and hell.
I will sing of my Redeemer,
And His heav’nly love to me;
He from death to life hath brought me,
Son of God with Him to be.

                      ~ Words by P.P. Bliss

Thought: God alone knows the future. Our life it is like a puff of smoke or like one’s breath that appears for a moment and then vanishes away. The true Christian submits his life to the Lord and is not presumptuous to think he knows what is best for himself or what tomorrow will hold. No matter what may await you, my friend, when you trust Christ as your “Redeemer,” victory is given over sin and death and hell. P.P. Bliss wrote of his “Redeemer” for he knew Him as Lord and Savior and experienced the wondrous triumphant power that paid the debt of sin and made him free.

Though P.P. Bless suffered greatly at the side of his dear wife, I am assured he never regretted his act of love towards her or was ever sorry he knew Christ and His great love for him.

(Read the last verse of the song.)

I Know Not What Awaits Me

I know not what awaits me,
   God kindly veils mine eyes;
And o'er each step of my onward way
   He makes new scenes to rise;
And every joy he sends me comes
   A sweet and glad surprise.

One step I see before me.
   'Tis all I need to see,
The light of heaven more brightly shines,
   When earth's illusions flee;
And sweetly thro' the silence comes
   His loving "Follow me."

O blissful lack of wisdom,
   'Tis blessed not to know;
He holds me with his own right hand,
   And will not let me go,
And lulls my troubled soul to rest
   In him who loves me so.

So on I go, not knowing,
   I would not if I might;
I'd rather walk in the dark with God
   Than go alone in the light;
I'd rather walk by faith with him
   Than go alone by sight.

                                 by P.P. Bliss

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