Finding Strength in Leaning on the Everlasting Arms.

Written by on June 2, 2024

The story behind the hymn “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms” is one that carries a profound sense of faith and trust in the divine. It was written by Anthony J. Showalter and Elisha A. Hoffman in the late 19th century, and its origin is rooted in a personal experience that touched the hearts of many.

Elisha A. Hoffman, a minister and hymn writer, found himself facing a season of deep grief and loss. He had just experienced the tragic death of his wife, leaving him alone to care for their two young daughters. In the midst of his sorrow, Hoffman sought solace and strength in his unwavering faith.

During this challenging time, Hoffman received a letter from a close friend, Anthony J. Showalter. Showalter, a music teacher, shared his own experiences of finding comfort in the everlasting arms of God. Inspired by his words, Hoffman began to reflect on the concept of leaning on the everlasting arms as a source of strength and support.

Moved by this reflection, Hoffman penned the lyrics to “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms,” capturing the essence of his own journey through grief and his reliance on God’s enduring presence. Showalter, recognizing the significance of Hoffman’s words, composed a simple and comforting melody to accompany the lyrics.

The hymn quickly gained popularity and resonated with people from all walks of life. Its message spoke to the universal human experience of seeking comfort and finding refuge in times of hardship. The words, “What have I to dread, what have I to fear, leaning on the everlasting arms?” became a powerful declaration of trust and hope.

Over the years, “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms” has endured as a beloved hymn, offering strength and encouragement to countless individuals facing their own trials and tribulations. Its timeless message serves as a reminder that, no matter the challenges we face, we can find solace and support in leaning on the everlasting arms of a loving and faithful God.


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