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Each year at this time I have another opportunity to consider the words in another great song of praise—“Because He Lives” by Bill and Gloria Gaither. 



The story behind “Because He Lives” resonates with our family in a way that I think matches other families during these turbulent times.  In the late 1960s, the Gaithers were facing the birth of their third child during a time when illness, extended family problems, financial unknowns, the Vietnam war, rampant teaching of “God is dead” in our educational systems, racial tension, drug abuse—and even some voices calling for population control—weighed oppressively on their minds and hearts.  Gloria’s thoughts were accompanied by fear, doubt, and torment as she pondered the reality of bringing a child into this crazy world.



Then one night . . .  “after a simple prayer by one of Bill’s close friends—a prayer that commanded the devil to back off—both Bill and Gloria recall that the strength of the Holy Spirit seemed to come to their aid. Christ’s resurrection, in all its power, was reaffirmed in their hearts. They were assured that the future, left in God’s hands, would be just fine. In July 1970 a healthy baby, Benjamin, was born. Inspired by the miracle of their son’s birth, ‘Because He Lives’ poured out of the Gaithers’ grateful hearts. The song clearly affirms the hope believers have in Christ. We can face tomorrow, with all its uncertainty, as we realize that God holds the future and makes life worth living.”  

Two years ago, amidst the financial turmoil on Wall Street, division over politics and clashes of worldviews in our nation and around the world, a global war on terror, hurricanes and earthquakes, and many of the same social problems whose consequences were just becoming known when the song was written, our daughter and her husband celebrated the birth of their beautiful baby girl. Our whole family is joyous because of the hope and excitement with this little one.  We praise God, Who has known this child from before she was born, and Who loves her and has a plan for her life—as He does all of us.

Consider thoughtfully the words of “Because He Lives”, knowing now the story behind the song and its poignant second verse:
“God sent His son, they called Him, Jesus;
He came to love, heal and forgive;
He lived and died to buy my pardon,
An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives!
Chorus
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives, all fear is gone;
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living,
Just because He lives!
How sweet to hold a newborn baby,
And feel the pride and joy he gives;
But greater still the calm assurance:
This child can face uncertain days because He lives!
And then one day, I’ll cross the river,
I’ll fight life’s final war with pain;
And then, as death gives way to vict’ry,
I’ll see the lights of glory and I’ll know He lives!
Chorus
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives, all fear is gone;
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living,
Just because He lives!”  (copyright by William J. Gaither, 1971)



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