wrote a hymnbook, it might include songs like these:
THE GLOOM GOSPEL (sung to tune of “Rock of Ages”)I’m a worrier, I think the worst,
I’m so anxious I could burst.
I dwell on the negatives,
All the awful life can give.
Yes, I know that it’s a sin,
But my worries always win.
EXPECTING THE WORST (sung to tune of “God Will Take Care of You”)Worry, worry, life is not fair,
I might be breathing polluted air.
Every new ache and pain gives me alarm.
Inflation might force me to move to a barn.
Chorus:An-xi-ety is my way.
Anything bad might happen today.
Accidents, illness or robbed by a bum—
Worrying expects it to come.
Maybe you caught the irony, that the tunes to both bogus “hymns” are stalwart hymns of trust in God. “Rock of Ages,” begins the first, “cleft for me,/Let me hide myself in thee.” As for the second, there’s an interesting story about its composition in 1904 by a pastor’s wife, Civilla Martin. She was among the prolific hymn lyricists of her time, reportedly writing several hundred songs. Next to “His Eye is on the Sparrow,” this is her best known.
Civilla had some health issues, and one Sunday wasn’t well enough to accompany her pastor-husband to a preaching request several hours’ journey from their home. He seriously considered cancelling it so he could stay home with her. His young son persuaded him to go, saying, “Father, don’t you think that if God wants you to preach today, He will take care of Mother while you are away?” While he was away preaching, Civilla wrote the four stanzas that begin:Be not dismayed whatever betide,/God will take care of you;
Beneath His wings of love abide,/God will take care of you.
Chorus: God will take care of you,/Through every day, o’er all the way;
He will take care of you,/God will take care of you.
What specific Bible text inspired her isn’t known, though she may have been thinking of some verses in Philippians 4:
“My God will meet all your needs” (4:19)
Or, from 1 Peter 5:7: “Cast all your anxiety upon him because he cares for you.”
Civilla knew the best cure for worry: a steady dose of trust in the God who “will take care of you.” By the way, her husband, also a musician, wrote the tune to it.