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Have Thine Own Way. Lord!
Jeremiah 18:6
ADELAIDE  |  Hymn History  |  Bible Passage
Author: Adelaide A. Pollard, 1862-1834
Musician: George C. Stebbins, 1846-1945

  Play Music | MP3 • Click to listen to the music for this hymn.

Have Thine own way, Lord, Have Thine own way;
Thou art the Potter; I am the clay.
Mould me and make me After Thy will,
While I am waiting, Yielded and still.

Have Thine own way, Lord, Have Thine own way;
Search me and try me, Master, today.
Whiter than snow, Lord, Wash me just now,
As in Thy presence Humbly I bow.

Have Thine own way, Lord, Have Thine own way;
Wounded and weary, Help me, I pray.
Power, all power, Surely is Thine;
Touch me and heal me, Saviour divine.

Have Thine own way, Lord, Have Thine own way;
Hold o'er my being Absolute sway.
Fill with Thy Spirit Till all shall see
Christ only, always, Living in me.


A young woman sat in a prayer meeting over eighty years ago. She was so pressed down by the weight of despair that she was hardly able to concentrate on what the speaker was saying.

Adelaide Pollard had a burden for the continent of Africa and was convinced that God wanted her to go there as a missionary. She had been on the very point of sailing away but then had to cancel everything, because the necessary funds just couldn't be raised. You can imagine her disappointment.

As she sat there the words of a prayer, often uttered by an old lady she knew, came into her thoughts: 'It's all right, Lord! It doesn't matter what you bring into our lives; just have your own way with us!'

In a moment her burden had lifted as she bowed in submission to the will of God.

Running home that night she meditated on the story of the potter, recorded by Jeremiah:

'Then I went down to the potter's house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels.
And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand oft he potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.' Jeremiah 18:34.

These words seemed to fit Miss Pollard's own life and experiences exactly.

Adelaide Pollard had been born in Iowa in 1862. She had been well educated and for several years taught in a girl's school. She also had a talent for writing, both prose and poetry, and produced many religious artides, as well as a few hymns.

But her real concern was for the lost. She longed to see them reached with the message of Christ Jesus. Eventually, she began a ministry in Bible teaching and, travelling widely throughout the United States, spoke to numerous groups and churches.

Miss Pollard was also passionately interested in foreign missions. For a while she taught at the Missionary Training Institute at Nyack, New York and hoped that she would, herself, be a missionary one day. However, now it seemed that God, who had been with her all her life, was suddenly deserting her.

'But,' she thought, 'perhaps my questioning of God's will shows a flaw in my life, so God has decided to break me, as the potter broke the defective vessel, and then to mould my life again - in His own pattern,'

As she bowed in humble consecration before God, the words of a poem took shape in her mind, and she wrote:

Have Thine own way, Lord!
Have Thine own way!
Thou art the potter;
I am the clay.
Mould me and make me
after Thy will,
While I am waiting,
yielded and still.

Adelaide Pollard had learned that even Christians can be self-centred, self-possessed and self-willed. Even when doing God's work, like her planned trip to Africa, she had to be careful lest it be done in the wisdom and strength of self.

In God's own time he allowed her to go to Africa. She also spent several years in England during the first World War, returning later to her travelling ministry in the USA.

She continued to speak publicly until the age of 72 when, on her way to yet another meeting, she was taken ill in a railway station in New York City and died soon after.

The world will always have cause to be thankful for the life and ministry of that frail little woman who wrote:

Have Thine own way, Lord,
Have Thine own way;
Hold o're my being
Absolute sway.
Fill with Thy Spirit
Till all shall see
Christ only, always,
Living in me.


6 O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the LORD. Behold, as the clay is in the potter's hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel.

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