What fellowship, what a joy divine,

Leaning on the everlasting arms!

What a blessedness, what a peace is mine,

Leaning on the everlasting arms!

 

Leaning, leaning,

Safe and secure from all alarms;

Leaning, leaning,

Leaning on the everlasting arms.

 

What have I to dread, what have I to fear,

Leaning on the everlasting arms?

I have blessed peace, with my Lord so near,

Leaning on the everlasting arms.

 

 

Anthony J. Showalter, an American gospel music composer and teacher, was born in Cherry Grove, Virginia (1858 – 1924), and studied music in England, France, and Germany.   By age 14 he was teaching in singing schools.

 

When he later received letters from two of his former pupils saying their wives had died, he prepared letters of condolence to them.  He based these letters on Deuteronomy 33:27. “The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms; He will thrust out the enemy from before you, And will say, “Destroy!”

 

The first stanza expresses that peace can be found in difficult times in the presence of God, while the last stanza states we can be free from fear “with my Lord so near”.

 

He commissioned Elisha Hoffman (1839 -1929) to write the stanzas, and he wrote the refrain. Hoffman wrote many hymns during his lifetime including “Are you Washed in the Blood?” and “Down at the Cross”.

 

Psalm 46 says, “God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in time of trouble.” The good news is He is always waiting, never too busy; we just need to ask