He leadeth me! O blessed thought

He leadeth me! O blessed thought,
O words with heav’nly comfort fraught;
Whate’er I do, where’er I be,
Still ’tis Christ’s hand that leadeth me.
  He leadeth me! He leadeth me!
By His own hand He leadeth me;
His faithful follower I would be,
  For by His hand He leadeth me.
Sometimes ’mid scenes of deepest gloom,
Sometimes where Eden’s bowers bloom,
By waters still, o’er troubled sea,
Still ’tis His hand that leadeth me.
Lord, I would clasp Thy hand in mine,
Nor ever murmur or repine;
Content, whatever lot I see,
Since it is Thou that leadest me.
And when my task on earth is done,
When, by Thy grace, the vict’ry’s won,
E’en death’s cold wave I will not flee,
Since Thou in triumph leadest me.
Elvida Hildyard

Duston, Northampton

God spoke to my heart 3 years ago. He wanted me to keep the Sabbath. in my early 60th year I walked into a Seventhday Adventist Church not knowing anything about them. the first Hymn they sang I had never heard it before in my life was HE LEADETH ME.. My heart melted.. I can not explain the joy. Jesus led me to keep HIS Sabbath! Glory!


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

America’s Civil War has been dubbed the most destructive, the most lethal conflict in the nation’s history. Over the course of four interminably long years, more American lives were claimed than in World War I, World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War combined. Men and boys, barely of fighting age, perished not only on the battle field but in other gruesome ways. In fact, two thirds of fatalities were at the hand of diseases such as typhoid, malaria, yellow fever, pneumonia and tuberculosis. Scores also died in captivity, while many others were victims of the complications of amputation at the hand of doctors who had never previously performed surgery. And not only were lives devastated but so were the land and the economy. It is safe to say that trauma and trial were had by not only those who fought but by the entire divided nation looking on.

It is out of this horrific context—a war that claimed nearly a whole generation—that a young pastor of 28 penned one of America’s most famous hymns He Leadeth Me. In fact, Joseph Gilmore, who was preaching at First Baptist Church of Philadelphia at the time, wrote that it had to have been “the darkest hour of the Civil War…”

Strangely enough, out of no exaggeration, I find myself miles outside this same city, enveloped in a war of my own, and in seemingly the darkest hour of it. It has been years, literally, that the Lord has led my husband and I down a path, we could have never imagined. He led us to a war to fight for a 4 year old boy who had no advocates, no defense, no hope, and no future. He led us to love this boy—crippled in spirit, in soul, and in body—as our own and to show him the ways of God. And He led us to let go of him and of nearly everything we thought was ours. And now He has led us into the darkest hour, where we don’t know if we will ever see this precious boy again, a boy whose life on paper is still very much in danger. And all I can do is lie in the dust of a war ravaged land, with no hope to be seen, and wonder if I’ll ever be able to get up.

And yet the words of this hymn come to me. I can’t get the tune out of my head. I am forced to sing over and over again,

He leadeth me! He leadeth me!

By His own hand He leadeth me;

His faithful follower I would be,

For by His hand He leadeth me.

And my soul is put at ease. Are all my whys suddenly answered? Is the path ahead lit up in gold? No, of course not. Yet, I know that “He leadeth me” and so I can somehow, miraculously—while playing this hymn as my anthem—get up out of the dirt and move ahead, held up by my Lord’s hand.

Joseph Gilmore, that author, put it this way, “…[The Civil War] may subconsciously have led me to realize that God’s leadership is the one significant fact in human experience, that it makes no difference how we are led, or whither we are led, so long as we are sure God is leading us. ”

So, maybe you too can relate to the unsteadiness of Gilmore’s world and mine. Maybe you too feel like a casualty of war, unsure if you will ever be able to get up again.

My encouragement to you and to myself in this “scene of deepest gloom…o’er troubled sea” is this: may the simplicity of God’s promises and the unfailing nature of His love be your “period” or your “full-stop”—as the British call it. May it be the end of your sentence. For interestingly enough, Gilmore said that he had originally “set out to give the people an exposition of the 23rd Psalm, which I had given before on three or four occasions, but this time I did not get further than the words ‘He Leadeth Me. ’” And from there flowed the words of this famous hymn. May your mind and mine get no further and need no more answers than He, your Shepherd, leadeth you and He leadeth me.

Psalm 32:8

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. ”

Psalm 23:1-4

“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff they comfort me. ”

Isaiah 58:11

“The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. ”

Psalm 37:23-24

“The LORD makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand. ”

Oyekale Abel Alade

Bida, Niger, Nigeria

As I meditate on Jeremiah 24 this morning, and God was determined to punish Israel for their sins, v6 and 7 stared at me as God was unfolding His plan to those who will accept His discipline.

God said "For I will set mine eyes upon them for good, and I will bring them again to this land: and I will build them, and not pull them down; and I will plant them, and not pluck them up...."

This song came to my heart, and I sense the need to surrender myself to the leading of His hand whatever betides. I pray He will help me.


Aizawl, Mizoram, India

Thank you soo much, may I used this for cover?

Martin Benjamin-Addy

Accra, Gt. Accra Region, Ghana

In the delivery of my duties to God and mankind, I have been accused, abused and called names, but this hymn keeps reminding me of the origin of my mandate, and therefore should be unperturbed.

This hymn is a strengthener, a counselor and a stand-by. It tells of the the presence of the Holy Spirit in our daily lives.

Thank You Lord Jesus, I have truly found a friend in You.

Luthando Galada

Cape Town, South Africa

I'm so blessed... great lyrics. Indeed He leadeth us.

Henrique Paulo

Praia Grande, SP, Brazil

Linda canção, que nos faz meditar em nosso amado Senhor Jesus Cristo, nosso amigo fiel!!! Louvado seja nosso Deus e nosso Senhor Jesús Cristo!!!

Beautiful song, It makes us meditate on our beloved Lord Jesus Christ, our faithful friend !!! Praise our God and our Lord Jesus !!!


Helsinki, Finland

One of my all time favourite. In the course of pursuing my what He once told me, about pursuing further studies, I got into the mid scenes of deepest gloom, almost doubting the vision and dream, but then some way some how I came across this song as sang by Candi Pearson. It just resonated in my spirit for several days, the assuring that I am not going off what He showed me came to me again, building faith in my spirit. It didn't last look, my "Edens' bower bloom" and showed up.

Thank You Lord Jesus for the vessel You used to bring this song (Joseph Gilmore).

Diana French

Maysville, Kentucky, United States

3:20 am, lying here in the dark next to my husband, in our granddaughter's bed, as we are visiting at our daughter's home. Wide awake for nearly an hour now, mind racing with events of the day, several very frustrating, old concerns still very much current issues; I place my hands on my face, begin to recite the 23rd Psalm to comfort and ease the tension in my mind, and I pause at, "He leadeth me." Instantly the Holy Spirit brings to my mind this precious old hymn from our Methodist days. As I sing in my head, over and over through the chorus with perfect memory, the Lord refreshes me, even in the midnight hour. Thank You sweet Jesus. Grabbed my phone to replenish the contents of the verses. Thanks!

Amos Kimani

Naivasha, Nakuru, Kenya

How wonderful is to be lead by The Mighty Lord. I can never go wrong when lead by The Lord. Even in hardship, with The Lord will overcome.