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The night watch is not the average soldier's choice. On this occasion, Ira David was given the duty. Fatigue and boredom can be as great an enemy as the threat of surprise attack. The American Civil War pressed on and Ira David, along with thousands, served with commitment and hopes that the conflict would soon be over. With darkness gripping the camp, save a flickering light here and there, Ira David lifted his eyes heavenward. A song of praise swelled in his heart, and softly he began to sing. In melody, he magnified the Lord thinking He alone heard.

The war ended and years later Ira David was aboard ship traveling across the Atlantic Ocean. Now a well-known singer, many made requests for songs. As he had done countless times before, Ira David lifted his eyes toward heaven and sang a beautiful hymn.

At the conclusion, a man from the crowd approached him and asked if on a certain night during the Civil War he had performed guard duty for a particular infantry unit. "Yes, I did. Why do you ask?" "Well sir, I fought on the opposite side of the war. On that. night I was hiding in the brush near your camp. With my rifle aimed at your head, I was about. to kill you. Then you looked toward heaven and began to sing. I thought, 'Well, I like music, and this guy has a nice voice. I'll just sit here, let him sing the song,.. .and then shoot him. He's not going anywhere.' But then I realized what you were singing. It was the same hymn my mother used to sing at my bedside when I was a child. And it's. the same hymn you sang tonight! I tried, but that night during the Civil War, I was powerless to shoot you."

In the Lord's grace and mercy, Ira David Sankey's life was spared and a one time enemy gained eternal life. Mr. Sankey was now able to point the man to Christ. Throughout his ministry as a powerful preacher and famous song leader for Evangelist D.L. Moody, Ira David Sankey pointed thousands to Christ. Along the way, he always lifted heart and voice to the Lord in praise!

In 1876, Ira David Sankey wrote the music for Edgar Page Stites words to "Trusting Jesus That Is All."

Trusting as the moments fly,
Trusting as the days go by;
Trusting Him what e'er be fall,
Trusting Jesus - that is all.


My dear reader - Have you trusted Jesus as Savior and Lord?