If the path I travel

1
If the path I travel
  Lead me to the cross,
If the way Thou choosest
  Lead to pain and loss,
Let the compensation
  Daily, hourly, be
Shadowless communion,
  Blessed Lord, with Thee.
2
If there’s less of earth joy,
  Give, Lord, more of heaven.
Let the spirit praise Thee,
  Though the heart be riven;
If sweet earthly ties, Lord,
  Break at Thy decree,
Let the tie that binds us,
  Closer, sweeter, be.
3
Lonely though the pathway,
  Cheer it with Thy smile;
Be Thou my companion
  Through earth’s little while;
Selfless may I live, Lord,
  By Thy grace to be
Just a cleansed channel
  For Thy life through me.
6
Rebekah Hamilton

United States

I have been really lonely lately, but praise the Lord, He is our true companion. Lord, thank You You are always with us! Lord, I love You more today!


Chiawen

London, United Kingdom

Found this song unexpectedly. The verses indicated that it was going to be a sad song. Wasn't thinking to listen to it in the first place as I did not want to get into my emotion too much. However, after singing it a few times, my spirit was strengthened and the heavy feeling within me was gone. Praise the Lord, never experienced one hymn like this could just supply me with life in such a sweet way. Thank You for Your mercy and love and Your faithful servant, sister Barber.


Raquel Dominguez

Lake Elsinore, California, United States

I have this song in my ipod but I never really payed attention to the words. I found it here on hymnal.net accidentally and singing along and paying attention to the words brought me into tears. For this sister's consecration is so genuine and full of love. She trusted and believed the Lord was with her always and she knew that if she had more communion with Christ she will be satisfied even through trials that caused riven hearts. OH LORD JESUS I WANT TO ALWAYS TURN TO YOU WHETHER HAPPY, or SAD. WHETHER MY HEART BE ACHING I WANT MY SPIRIT TO BE REJOICING! BIND US MORE! I WANT MORE OF YOU THROUGH MY TRIALS AND LESS OF MYSELF. LORD I CONSECRATE MYSELF TO YOU ONCE AGAIN! LORD JESUS I LOVE YOU!!


Stephen Barber

Los Angeles, CA, U.S.A.

"If the way Thou choosest

Lead to pain and loss,

Let the compensation

Daily, hourly be

Shadowless communion,

Blessed Lord, with Thee."

As we pass through this lifetime the Lord is interceding His divine hand to dry up everything that is not Himself, and He is replacing all these things with His very being. When we experience a certain trial the Lord is near us as our faithful companion comforting and soothing us with His mercy and grace. The Lord does not take away without replacing, and He replaces the oldness with the best-Himself.


Melanie Elaine jalapit Micabalo

Cebu City, Philippines

Amen! Praise the Lord! I love this song because it is encouraging especially when you are in trouble.

I'm a sister who loves to sing even though I don't have a golden voice. A brother gave me a copy of this song because I like it.


Joy Kim

Fullerton, CA, U.S.A.

This song reminded me that Christ is the reality of all the positive things in this universe.

All the earth's pleasures and joys are mere shadows of the real thing. So even if our earthly ties are broken, if we are bonded with Christ, then there is no loss, but rather a gain!

I was reminded of Hymn 1079.

In the fourth verse, it says,

"If I have but Jesus, only Jesus,

Nothing else in all the world beside—

O then everything is mine in Jesus;

For my needs and more He will provide."

Lord, I'd rather have You as the reality, than to grasp onto a million shadows! Thank You Lord, You can be mine!

Man's greatest suffering is finding his desires unfulfilled. When a person cannot satisfy his desires, he may rebel, disagree, or complain in his heart. But if he would lift up his head at that very moment and say to the Lord, "I thank You because this is Your will," his capacity would be increased. Without the cross, all spiritual blessings will stop. When harsh words, unkind expressions, or unhappy incidents happen at home, a person may weep. Yet if he would say to the Lord in tears, "I accept and am satisfied with the things You have permitted to come upon me," he would grow. Madam Guyon said, "Lord, even if You chastise me with a whip, I will still kiss that whip with my mouth." Miss Barber wrote in one of her hymns: "Let the spirit praise Thee,/Though the heart be riven" (Hymns, #377). This was spoken by one who truly knew God and who truly knew the cross.

This also is a very good hymn. The expressions and wording are very poetic, and the feeling is very deep. Everything about it belongs to a higher realm and is lofty and mature. It is rare for a hymn on fellowship to reach such a standard. There is not a tint of unnaturalness or extreme. It is a genuine expression of a genuine lover of the Lord toward Him. It is perfect submission borne out of perfect consecration. It is the voice of submission that comes from the heart of one who has no resistance toward the Lord.

"If the path I travel/Lead me to the cross,/If the way Thou choosest/Lead to pain and loss,/Let the compensation /Daily, hourly, be/Shadowless communion,/Blessed Lord, with Thee." This is full of consecration and submission.

Stanza two is the best stanza in the whole hymn. Here the feeling ascends still higher. "If there's less of earth joy"—the writer is contemplating—"Give, Lord, more of heaven." He is praying to God, not for deliverance or for change, but for more fellowship. "Let the spirit praise Thee, /Though the heart be riven." Here is a person who can differentiate between the heart and the spirit. The heart may be broken, but the spirit can praise. The heart may be riven, but the spirit is still fresh before God. He knows the difference between the heart and the spirit. He does not ask for enjoyment of the heart but for compensation of the spirit. He has begun the ascent, but the next line is still higher. The first line says, "If there's less of earth joy," while the fifth line says, "If sweet earthly ties, Lord,/Break..." These two lines are linked by the word earth. This is poetry. "If sweet earthly ties, Lord,/Break at Thy decree,/Let the tie that binds us,/Closer, sweeter, be." He seeks neither compromise nor escape. He asks only for better fellowship. He jumps from the "sweet earthly ties" in the fifth line to "the tie that binds us." This is lovely. The feeling is fine, the words are right, and the structure is wonderful. This is beautiful!

Since stanza two reaches the climax, stanza three turns into a prayer: "Lonely though the pathway,/Cheer it with Thy smile." "Cheer it with Thy smile"—this is so spiritual and poetic. "Selfless may I live, Lord,/By Thy grace to be/Just a cleansd channel/For Thy life through me." This means that he asks for nothing else except that he would be a selfless and holy vessel to carry out God's will. This is the prayerful finale of a consecrated person in suffering. If we read this hymn carefully, we will see that this is truly a fine hymn. We have to come to God to learn these hymns and the spirit of these hymns.

James 1:2 says, "Count it all joy, my brothers, whenever you fall into various trials." First Peter 1:6 says, "In which time you exult." What is this? Verse 8 says, "Whom having not seen, you love; into whom though not seeing Him at present, yet believing, you exult with joy that is unspeakable and full of glory." In chapter four, verses 12 and 13 say, "Beloved, do not think that the fiery ordeal among you, coming to you for a trial, is strange, as if it were a strange thing happening to you; but inasmuch as you share in the sufferings of Christ, rejoice, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice exultingly." These few passages tell us how we should behave in the days of tribulation. The book of James speaks of "various trials." This includes the trials that one should face as well as trials that one should not face; they come all at once. Enemies come, friends come, unbelievers come, brothers come, and reasonable as well as unreasonable things come. All kinds of trials come, but these things cannot take away our joy. Please remember that the Bible always qualifies joy with such adjectives as great and full. All of God's joys are great and full. First Peter 1:6 says that one greatly rejoices, while the grief is but for "a little while" (RSV). Can there be grief? Yes, there can; in fact, grief is unavoidable. While our eyes are here, tears will always come. As long as our tear ducts are here, tears will always come. But even though there may be tears, there is also rejoicing. Hence, 1 Peter 1:8 speaks of "joy that is unspeakable and full of glory." There is no way to describe this joy. Many times, while our tears are still wet, we are already shouting, "Hallelujah." Many times, while tears are still rolling, our mouths are thanking and praising God. Many people have tears that are mingled with their thanksgiving and praises. Miss M.E. Barber wrote a hymn with one line which says, "Let the spirit praise Thee,/Though the heart be riven" (Hymns, #377). While we live on earth today, our heart cannot help but be riven at times. The heart has its feelings, yet the spirit can still praise the Lord. First Peter 4:12 says that we should rejoice not only in the midst of trials, but also in anticipation of the trials. This means that we should welcome the trials and say, "Praise and thank the Lord, the trials are here again."