by Ami Hendrickson
Keep me as the apple of your eye. Hide me under the shadow of your wings, from the wicked who oppress me, my deadly enemies, who surround me.
Pastor William Cushing could have been forgiven for turning his back on God. After all, some would argue, God certainly seemed to have turned His back on him.
Born on New Year’s Eve in 1823, Cushing was still a teen when he knew God was calling him to the ministry.
Cushing practiced what he preached. He once gave a thousand dollars – his entire bank account – to pay for a blind girl’s education.
He married the love of his life, Hena Proper, in 1854, and together they ministered throughout New York state. Though William was devoted to her, Hena suffered from poor health. She died in 1870.
Shortly after Hena’s passing, a “creeping paralysis” rendered William unable to speak and he was forced to give up preaching. But he never gave up his love for God.
William became a prolific hymn writer. Before he died in 1902, only a few months from his 79th birthday, he had written over 300 hymns. Some of his best-known hymns include “When He Cometh,” “Beautiful Valley of Eden,” “Hiding in Thee,” and “Under His Wings,” which is based upon today’s text.
Under His wings I am safely abiding;
Though the night deepens and tempests are wild,
Still, I can trust Him, I know He will keep me;
He has redeemed me and I am His child.
Cushing was faithful to God his whole life. He knew that no matter what happens here on Earth, God holds His children close and keeps them safe for eternity.
Let me be under Your wings.
In Jesus’ Name, I pray, Amen.