Published May 11, 2010

Paul's Epistle...

Recently Shelia and I were participating in a Sharathon at one of the radio stations carrying The Gospel Greats program. Being interviewed live on the air, the host asked me, "What's your favorite song right now?"

Well, of course, I have a lot of favorite songs, and I suppose I was caught a bit off-guard by the question. Nevertheless, the song that immediately came to mind was "Fear Not Tomorrow" by the Collingsworth Family. I love what that song says, and it's surely a timely message for today. It reminds me of so many Scriptural truths, not the least of which is 2nd Timothy 1:7 – "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind."

Actually, as it turns out, the writer of that song, Carolyn Adkins, is from our home area. She tells me she heard Kim Collingsworth relate on a recent broadcast about how they passed over that song twice while selecting songs for previous recordings, but then, when they were choosing songs for their current CD, it suddenly impressed them as being the perfect song for today. As Carolyn noted, "Kim's sharing the process of choosing the song for their current album is nothing short of another of God's ‘Divine Appointments!'"*

Carolyn sent me a story about how her song came to be written some forty years ago, and graciously gave me permission to share it with you.

- Paul

"Fear Not Tomorrow"
by Carolyn Adkins

I'd like to share with you how the song, "Fear Not Tomorrow," was written. It was at a time when I was very sick with the worst case of flu I'd ever experienced. And to make matters worse, it was a few days before Christmas and the many things that I'd ordinarily be doing in preparation for the holidays were going undone, because I simply didn't have the strength to do anything. I was actually dreading Christmas Day - there were people depending on me and I felt I was letting them down. There was so much to do and so little time left and I was utterly helpless.

During one of those feverish days, I had a strong urge to tune in one of our Christian radio stations. The program I tuned into was an interview with George Beverly Shea — but it was the end of the interview, and I thought, "Oh, I've missed it all" But in closing, the announcer said, "George, is there one last word you'd like to leave with our listeners?" In that warm voice, he said, "Yes, just this thought: Fear not tomorrow — God is already there."

I could hardly believe my ears. This was just what I needed to hear! It was as if I'd been tossed a life raft on this ocean of concern and worry. I realized that God wasn't boxed in by time as I was. He was already in Christmas — He was already in tomorrow — and I could trust Him to take care of all those things that were troubling me about tomorrow. Very soon, my anxiety and frustration were replaced by the quiet Peace of God.

Well, Christmas Day did come, and with the help of my husband, Jerry, those things that I was fretting and worrying about were somehow taken care of and the day went much better than I thought it would.

When I was able to function again, I sat down at the piano and it was like taking dictation from Heaven as the words and music came together. As I was putting the final touches on the song, I felt the undeniable Presence of The Lord — (I actually felt that I should scoot over a bit and give Him more room on the piano bench) — and in my spirit, I heard Him say these words: "I will use this song to bless millions." I thought, "This is my imagination." But immediately, the same words came stronger than before. And ever since that moment, I've known that God's Hand was on this song for His Purpose.

In a short while, my friend and accompanist, Esther Fogarty, put the song on paper, and wherever we presented "Fear Not Tomorrow," it seemed to strike a personal chord with folks, and they let us know that it was indeed a blessing.

That was in the late 1960s, when it seemed the whole world was in a state of uncertainty because of the cold war. But now, especially since 9/11 and the recent global financial melt-down, these words hold special comfort for me. And I pray, for all who hear them, "Fear not tomorrow, God is already there" — and He's waiting to guide you and me through all our tomorrows and through anything that may concern us.

* See my previous Epistle about "Divine Appointments."

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