SWEETER AS THE YEARS GO BY
Words and Music by Lelia N. Morris, 1862–1929
The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still bear fruit in old age, they stay fresh and green, proclaiming, “The Lord is upright; He is my Rock, and there is not wickedness in Him.” (Psalm 92:12–15)
For the believer, growing older should mean a greater awareness of God’s love and fellowship as well as a time of greater usefulness in Christian service. The golden years can and should be the most fruitful time of life. A lifetime of companionship with God should result in a mellow and gracious Christ-like spirit. Because there are fewer demands and pressures for life’s necessities, the older Christian should have opportunities for effective ministry that he never before attempted.
There is nothing more tragic, however, than to see a professing Christian become disgruntled and self-centered in later years. It is true that we simply bring into full bloom the traits that were begun in our early years. If we wish to have positive and productive attitudes in our senior years, we must begin to develop these traits while we are still young.
Author and composer Mrs. Lelia Morris was an active worker in the Methodist church. She continued to write gospel songs during the last 15 years of her life, even after going blind in her early fifties. “Sweeter as the Years Go By” was written during the early years of her blindness. It is said that during this difficult time in her life, Mrs. Morris used a 28-foot long blackboard with music lines on it to help her hymn writing. In all, Lelia Morris wrote more than 1,000 hymn texts, as well as many of the tunes. Her handicap never deterred her from being effective and productive for God. Even in blindness she found her Lord sweeter as the years went by.
Of Jesus’ love that sought me, when I was lost in sin; of wondrous grace that brought me back to His fold again; of heights and depths of mercy, far deeper than the sea, and higher than the heavens, my theme shall ever be.
He trod in old Judea life’s pathway long ago; the people thronged about Him His saving grace to know; He healed the broken hearted, and caused the blind to see; and still His great heart yearneth in love for even me.
’Twas wondrous love which led Him for us to suffer loss—to bear without a murmur the anguish of the cross; with saints redeemed in glory let us our voices raise, till heaven and earth re-echo with our Redeemer’s praise.
Refrain: Sweeter as the years go by, sweeter as the years go by; richer, fuller, deeper, Jesus’ love is sweeter, sweeter as the years go by.
For Today: Psalm 92:12, 14; Proverbs 16:31; John 15:10, 11
Seek out a respected elderly person. Learn his secret for a contented and useful life with God. Keep this musical message upon your lips—
Osbeck, K. W.
- The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree, and shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Such as be planted in the house of the Lord, shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bring forth fruit in their age: they shall be fat and flourishing, Psalm 92:12-14
- Age is a crown of glory, when it is found in the way of righteousness. Proverbs 16:31
- If ye shall keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love, as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remian in you, and that your joy might be full. John 15:10-11