Father, I know that all my life
|Father, I know that all my life is portioned out for me,
And the changes that are sure to come I do not fear to see;
But I ask Thee for a present mind intent on pleasing Thee.
|I ask Thee for a thoughtful love, through constant watching wise,
To meet the glad with joyful smiles, and to wipe the weeping eyes;
And a heart at leisure from itself, to soothe and sympathize.
|I would not have the restless will that hurries to and fro,
Seeking for some great thing to do or secret thing to know;
I would be treated as a child, and guided where I go.
|Wherever in the world I am, in whatso’er estate,
I have a fellowship with hearts to keep and cultivate;
And a work of lowly love to do for the Lord on whom I wait.
|So I ask Thee for the daily strength, to none that ask denied,
And a mind to blend with outward life while keeping at Thy side;
Content to fill a little space, if Thou be glorified.
|And if some things I do not ask in my cup of blessing be,
I would have my spirit filled the more with grateful love to Thee,
More careful, not to serve Thee much, but to please Thee perfectly.
|There are briers besetting every path that call for patient care;
There is a cross in every lot, and an earnest need for prayer;
But a lowly heart that leans on Thee is happy anywhere.
|In a service which Thy will appoints there are no bonds for me;
For my inmost heart is taught “the truth” that makes Thy children “free”
And a life of self-renouncing love is a life of liberty.
Very little is known about the author of this hymn, because of her remarkably retiring disposition. She was Anna Laetitia Waring, and was born in Neath, a town of South Wales, in 1820. In 1850 she published her "Hymns and Meditations," and in 1858 she published "Additional Hymns." It is believe that she was a Friend, and that her life was full of suffering and pain. Hymn #305 in the Chinese Hymnal is a translation of this hymn by Watchman Nee.