• 50°

Ann Farabee column: Grace is amazing

By Ann Farabee

His name was John.

His mother died when he was seven. Spiritual training stopped.

His father was very strict. They had no real relationship.

He had to stop going to school, so he could work with his father — at sea. When he was 19, his father felt he needed more discipline, and forced him into the Royal Navy, which thrived on severe discipline. He tried to escape, was found, was chained in irons — and received 96 lashes. He was a slave and a slave trader. It was a low point in his life where he described himself as a wretched-looking man.

Then came the night that changed everything.

A tumultuous storm arose at sea. The ship had begun to sink. He fearfully watched as someone was swept overboard. As he held on tightly, he began to remember Bible verses about grace — that he had learned from his mother.

He prayed for the first time in years.

The storm weakened.

The ship steadied.

He referred to it as the hour he first believed.

That hour he first believed, some words began to form in his mind — the words to a song he would write — Amazing Grace.

Can you envision those words being poured into his spirit that night? How he must have kept repeating them over and over in his mind? He surely felt strong emotion over the power in the words. For they were his story — a story of grace.

The first part of John’s life story was filled with dangers, toils and snares. The last part of his story was about grace that would lead him home. Even though he dealt with blindness in his later years, he turned his life upside down for Christ, as he became a loving husband, adoptive father, minister, abolitionist, published author and a song writer.

He never could have imagined that 250 years later those words would also be sung as our story of grace, reminding us of who God is — and who we are — through Christ.

Amazing grace how sweet the sound

That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost — but now am found

Was blind but now I see.

Twas grace that taught my heart to fear

And grace my fears relieved

How precious did that grace appear

The hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils, and snares

I have already come.

Tis grace that brought me safe thus far

And grace will lead me home.

Mr. John Newton, thank you for writing these words.

God sure did use a ‘wretch’ like you.

Amazing grace.

The sound of it is so sweet.

Can you hear it?

Ann Farabee is a teacher, writer and speaker. Contact her at  annfarabee@gmail.com or annfarabee.com.

About Post Lifestyles

Visit us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SalPostLifestyle/ and Twitter @postlifestlyes for more content

email author More by Post

Comments

Local

Catawba holds baccalaureate services for Class of 2021

News

$9M settlement for two men wrongfully sent to death row

Nation/World

China lands spacecraft on Mars in latest advance for its space program

Business

Gas crunch hits Washington; Colonial Pipeline paid nearly $5 million in Bitcoin ransome

Coronavirus

State mostly returns to normal operations after 15 months of lockdowns, restrictions

Crime

Blotter: Man accused of stealing car, crashing it

Crime

Man faces new charge of attempted murder for father’s shooting

BREAKING NEWS

Gov. Cooper lifts indoor mask mandate for most situations, gathering limits

Crime

Barnes gets new punishment of two life sentences in Tutterow couple’s 1992 murder

High School

High school football: State’s top honor goes to Jalon Walker

Local

Scout’s Honor: With dedication of flag retirement box, Salem Fleming earns Eagle Scout rank

College

North Carolina king, queen of NCAA lacrosse tourneys

Education

Kannapolis seniors walk elementary schools

Local

Local real estate company employees come out in force to build Habitat house

Local

Quotes of the week

Coronavirus

Auditors find oversight lacking for $3 billion of state’s pandemic aid

Nation/World

When will gas situation return to normal?

Local

Rowan native Shuping posthumously receives Concord Police Department’s Medal of Valor, Purple Heart

News

GOP measure on penalties for rioting draws fire

News

Black high school softball player told to cut hair

Coronavirus

State shows 303 COVID-19 deaths in Rowan

Coronavirus

CDC: Fully vaccinated people can largely ditch masks indoors

Crime

One arrested, another hospitalized in Castor Road stabbing

China Grove

China Grove Roller Mill open for tours Saturday