Marriages tend to work especially well when husband and wife have shared interests—and even more so if their shared interests have a creative bent. That was the case for Walter Stillman Martin (1862-1935) and his wife, Civilla (1866-1948). They had been drawn to each other, in large measure, because of their shared interest in music and their shared faith.
That turned out to be a blessing for the church, because the Martins wrote a number of hymns, some of which became quite well known. “God Will Take Care of You” is one of those. “His Eye Is on the Sparrow” is another. Civilla wrote the words, and Walter set her words to music.
The story behind “God Will Take Care of You” is especially interesting. Walter had a preaching engagement, but was considering cancelling to stay home with Civilla, who was sick. However, their nine-year-old son said, “Father, don’t you think that if God wants you to preach today, he will take care of Mother while you are away?” Challenged by his son’s faith, Walter went to his preaching engagement, leaving his wife well-being to God.
By the time Walter returned, Civilla was much improved. Furthermore, inspired by their son’s faith, she had penned the words to this song. Walter sat down at the keyboard, and in short order created the music to go with the words. It was first published in 1905, and became one of the best-loved hymns of the 20th century.
The hymn assures us that God will take care of our needs. We need not be dismayed, because “God will take care of you.” “Through days of toil” we can be assured that “God will take care of you.” When in need, we can be assured that God will provide.
No wonder this became such a popular hymn. We have all been dismayed—in some cases, often. We all toil with no guarantee of a reward. All of us have needs that we can see no way of filling. The chorus to this hymn encourages us to trust God. It promises:
God will take care of you,
Through every day, o’er all the way;
He will take care of you,
God will take care of you.
And so he will.
Copyright 2014, Richard Niell Donovan