In Times Like These

Today I’ve had to force my mind back onto my writing; and while it’s hard not to be preoccupied with all things flood-related, my project for Turning Point Magazine involved an old song that has encouraged me.

In the year 1943, Ruth Caye Jones, a pastor’s wife in Pennsylvania and the mother of five, was distressed by the headlines of her Pittsburgh newspaper. She saw the World War II causality lists and she knew the Allies were making slow progress through the boot of Italy. Supplies were rationed at home, and everyone was living under incredible strain.

Opening her Bible to 2 Timothy 3, Ruth studied the page and pondered the opening words. But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come. A song began composing itself in her mind. She jotted some lyrics on a small pad in her apron pocket. A series of notes also played in her mind. Only later did she realize they came from the old clock on the mantle with its iconic Westminster Chimes. Soon the notes and music congealed to become one of the most beloved Gospel songs of the 1940s and 1950s, “In Times Like These.”

In times like these we need a Savior;
In times like these we need an anchor.
Be very sure, be very sure
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

This Rock is Jesus, yes, He’s the One.
This Rock is Jesus, the only One!
Be very sure, be very sure
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

In times like these we need the Bible.
In times like these O be not idle.
Be very sure, be very sure
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

This Rock is Jesus, the One.
This Rock is Jesus, God’s only Son!
Be very sure, be very sure
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

Ruth’s song may have been inspired by 2 Timothy 3:1, but it’s based on her knowledge of another verse—Hebrews 6:19, which says: This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast….

Our lives are like the open seas—calm and pleasant one day; stormy and tempest-tossed the next. But in times like these we can be very sure our anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock.

4 thoughts on “In Times Like These

  1. This hymn is among my favorites but I hadn’t heard the story. Thanks for all that you share here. It’s greatly appreciated.

  2. I thank you for the background of this wonderful hymn. It is ministering to me in the context of the 2016 election and the ensuing unrest in the aftermath. If some want hear an absolutely superb rendition go to a You Tube recording by the Cadet Sisters.

  3. Just finished a Bible study on the Hebrew names of God. One is Yahweh Tsuri, translated The Lord my Rock. It comes from Psalm 144:1 and Deuteronomy 32:3-4. As I finished the chorus from this song was playing in my mind. It’s a great song for days when I’m in the dark.

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