I Shall be at Home with Jesus

In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also (John 14:2-3).

Many of the hymns I have am written of have long been in my heart, as you know if you have read. A few I have known for a while and yet my heart still enjoys to hear more songs about Jesus. I Shall be at Home with Jesus was written over 100 years ago but I first heard it only about 10 years ago. Evangelist Ed Ballew sang it (under the alternate title, While Eternal Ages Roll). The song has been in my heart since. I may not have appreciated the song as much that I heard it in my youth but as I grow older and my time shifts less, thoughts on Heaven are becoming more real.

I Shall be at Home with Jesus is very poetic and peaceful. It tells how short our life is here, even if we live a full life. The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away (Psalm 90:10). For Christians, death is a new beginning. We shall close and eyes to earth’s mortality and awake in presence of Jesus. Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord (2 Cor 5:6-8). We shall worship Him and be with Him forever. … so shall we ever be with the Lord (1 Thes 4:17). And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever (Rev 5:13).

I Shall be at Home with Jesus was written by Jennie Wilson of South Whitley, Indiana. Miss Wilson was a prolific poet written about twenty-two hundred poems and hymn texts in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. She was an invalid from age 4, confined to a wheel-chair and bed. Yet, over the course of her life she never interjected sadness from her condition in her works. The author J. H. Hall wrote that Miss Wilson’s work cheered, encouraged, and blessed a great multitude of hearts. Jennie Wilson wrote the words to I Shall be at Home with Jesus in 1908 at age 51. I believe the song was so real to her. The first verse says “Years of time are swiftly passing…Soon I’ll be at home with Jesus…” Miss Wilson went home to Jesus in 1913. She will be in the presence of her Savior while eternal ages roll. For the Christ’s living redeemed we will join Miss Wilson and Evangelist Ballew in such a short time. Will you call Heaven home? You can.

Years of time are swiftly passing,
Bringing nearer heaven’s goal;
Soon I’ll be at home with Jesus,
While eternal ages roll.

Chorus: O how precious is the promise,
That with gladness fills my soul!
I shall be at home with Jesus,
While eternal ages roll!

After all the days of waiting,
For His voice to bid me come,
I shall walk beside my Saviour,
’Mid bright scenes where angels roam.

After leaving earthly pathways,
Which my weary feet have pressed,
I shall stray by life’s fair river,
Finding holy peace and rest.

After last farewells are spoken,
I shall meet dear ones I’ve known,
In the presence of our Saviour,
When we stand before His throne.

James D. Vaughn wrote the music for I Shall be at Home with Jesus. The Blackwood Brothers and the Happy Goodman family both recorded I Shall be at Home with Jesus. I like them both though I get chill bumps listening to Howard, Vestel and family sing it. I have embedded a video of them from almost 50 years ago. I hope you enjoy as much as I do.

Sources: King James Version of the Bible, http://www.pdmusic.org/1900s/08isbahwj.txt, Biography of Gospel Song and Hymn Writers

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