“Madam, I am the poor unhappy man who wrote that hymn many years ago, and I would give a thousand worlds, if I had them, to enjoy the feelings I had then.”
So says Robert Robinson to the woman who asked him if he happens to know the name of the song she was humming. He wrote it the time he fell in love with Jesus and received his grace. Years passed by, he made some choices which threw him into despair. Hopeless about his backslidden state, he could not believe that his song could still be used by God to bless other souls. That included the woman in the stagecoach who hummed “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing.”
Buddy Greene in “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing”
Robert Robinson (27 September 1735 – 9 June 1790)
Orphaned at a young age, he grew up and lived on the streets. Naturally, he became one of the rowdy and hostile youngsters. His fate changed after his encounter with a gypsy woman who told him that she’ll live to see her children and grandchildren. Robert wanted that, too. But first, he has to change himself.
In the early 1700’s, prominent preacher, George Whitefield was preaching in town. Robert went to hear him and got convicted. He decided to put his faith in Christ. At age 20, he became a preacher. His faith evolved from Methodism to becoming Baptist then Unitarian. We don’t know what exactly happened to him, but there were speculations that he got lost in the process.
We’re no different from Robert Robinson. We had those times when we also wandered from the faith. That does not make it our end, though. We can still return to God and we won’t be turned away. Just when we thought we’ve drifted far from him, he’ll be one to reach for us. He does it through various means including using people like that woman who was blessed with Robinson’s song. After discovering that she just met the man behind “Come Thou Fount,” she told him,
“Sir, the ‘streams of mercy’ are still flowing.”