Lord Jesus, I long in Thy presence to live

9
Israel

Diamond Bar, California, United States

“Lord Jesus, I long in Thy presence to live.

From morning to evening my one world Thou art.

O let not my heart be contented or rest,

When loving or seeking what with Thee doth part.

Each moment, each day, throughout suff’ring and pain,

When nought in the world can give comfort or cheer,

When sighing and weeping encompasses me,

Lord, still all my sighing and wipe every tear.

Each time when I dream of the goodness of life,

I pray Thee, dear Lord, that Thou in it may be;

O do not allow me to choose by myself,

Nor seek any pleasure that’s other than Thee…

(Hymn 389)

This hymn was written by Lady Theodosia Powerscourt in approximately 1835. In her biography (1800-1836) we could see the Lord’s sovereign dealings and her obedience.

Lady Powerscourt was engaged to Br. John Nelson Darby (1800-1881) in 1835. They met and developed a friendship as they were serving together. Later they consecrated their future to the Lord.

However, at that time Darby was greatly used by the Lord. The brothers of Brethren felt that his marriage would not be in the best interest of the Lord’s move. Instead it could become a distracting factor to his ministry. Darby respected the brothers’ feelings and put God’s interests first over his personal relationship. With Lady Powerscourt’s understanding and sympathy, they ended their relationship.

Both of them became ill because of love. While Darby survived his sickness, Lady Powerscourt did not. The Lord took her away not too long after.

Darby never married. At the age of 81, a year before his departure, he finally confessed the sorrow and heartbreak he felt for giving up his relationship with Lady Powerscourt.

This hymn is very touching because we could see that there were two persons, who loved the Lord very much. They were the ones who did not care for themselves, but for God’s interests.

And in the midst of their sufferings, they were not discouraged. Instead they entered into a deeper fellowship with the Lord.

“… the fellowship in His suffering” (Phi. 3:10; Col. 1:24)

In this hymn, suffering and pain were mentioned. Most likely it was referring to the ending of her relationship with Br. John Nelson Darby. From these words, we can tell her heartbrokenness... Despite sighing and weeping, she still prayed that the Lord would be her only world.

This prayer touches me very much.

We can be comforted by this hymn if we can enter into the feelings of the author at the time when she was composing this song.

No matter what may happen to us or what kind of suffering we may undergo, we should believe in the goodness of God’s heart. We still need to exercise faith in God’s sovereignty.

"Under His sovereignty, even our mistakes work for good. If God did not sovereignly allow us to make mistakes, we could not possibly make them.

... When we are wrong, we need to repent. But there is no need for us to regret, for that means we are lacking in faith. After we repent for a mistake or shortcoming, we must still exercise faith in God’s sovereignty. We could not have made that mistake if He had not sovereignly allowed us to do so."

(Life Study of Ephesians. Msg 65)

References:

John Nelson Darby - A Biography By Max S. Weremchuk, 133

Huebner, 75


Amy

Ningbo, Zhejiang, China

This is my favourite song in my childhood. I learned it as a Children's song, the same hymn, and it comfort me a lot. Praise the Lord!


Eddie Uy

San Antonio, Texas, Texas

It's like a very sweet prayer unto the Lord.

In our human life on this earth, we can get easily attracted to many things other than Christ. Consciously or unconsciously, we are pursuing many things in this world which are not pleasing to the Lord. Sooner or later we will find that our hearts are not at rest with the Lord and not contented. Then we will know that it is because we are seeking many things in this world, other than Christ.

Only Christ can satisfy us and fill us. Praise the Lord.

Lord Jesus, I long in Thy presence to live,

From morning to evening my one world Thou art;

O let not my heart be contented or rest

When loving or seeking what with Thee doth part.

"O let not my heart be contented or rest, when loving or seeking what with Thee doth part".


Joanna Smathers

Baton Rouge, Louisiana, United States

This song welled up in my being as I was out in the yard early this morning.


Miah

Shanghai, China

Praise the Lord,I love traveling very much these day, and I spent a lot of time in forum, planning to go to many places, but I have no peace in me, and Lord give me this hymn, "Each time when I dream of the goodness of life, I pray Thee, dear Lord, that Thou in it may be; O do not allow me to choose by myself, Nor seek any pleasure that's other than Thee. "


Rosita Enriquez

Anaheim, CA, United States

The four stanzas on this hymn are very precious. Every word seems to be so meaningful to our brother Watchman Nee. Lord Jesus I long in Thy presence to live! O let not my heart be contented or rest, when loving or seeking what with Thee doth part! My only joy, You!

It has been one of the hymns I have enjoyed for many years. Every time so fresh.


Isaiah Tor

Sydney, NSW, Australia

This hymn unveils to us the practical depths of a life spent in and for Christ in His loving, sweet and most intimate presence with and in us. The flavour of this hymn does not in the slightest way betray the element and character of the self, nor the flesh, but reveals one who in spirit is always living in His presence in unceasing and unbroken intimacy regardless of the environment and any length of time (verse 1), regardless of how good life may be and the rest it may afford (verse 2), because of the application and enjoyment of His word in portrayal of His precious Being and the depths of His mercy and grace when we come before His throne and unto the hope of being raptured to be with Him at His coming, and the full and utter enjoyment of His presence in His kingdom.


Cielo Sio

Quezon City, Philippines

I learned this hymn during my early years in the Lord. It's like a very sweet prayer unto the Lord. What touches me is the phrase -- "O let not my heart be contented or rest, when loving or seeking what with Thee doth part". In our human life on this earth, we can get easily attracted to many things other than Christ. Consciously or unconsciously, we are pursuing many things in this world which are not pleasing to the Lord. We may think that it's just alright but sooner or later we will find that our hearts are not at rest and still not contented. Then we must know that it is because we are loving and seeking many things other than Christ. Only Christ can satisfy us and fill us. Praise the Lord.


Esmonde Lim Wei Chen

Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia

I Like this hymn very much especially the last two lines of stanza 3.

"If thru my shortcomings Thou hear not my prayer, Withdraw not Thy presence, O hide not Thy face."

Enjoy His presence!

When we pray in our reading of the Word, we turn the verses we have read into prayer. When we pray, we must forget everything else and have only the Lord and His word. Hymns, #389 says, "From morning to evening my one world Thou art." This means that when we seek the Lord, we have only one world: "O Lord, You are my world; I seek You." When you pray a simple prayer like this, whatever you read and understand will enter into you. Once the word enters your spirit, it becomes the Spirit and life. However, if you do not pray, then the word that you read will not become the Spirit, nor will it become life.