Dick Innes, © Daily Encounter, http://www.actsweb.org/encounter.
Used by Permission.
The year, 1741, was a very depressing year for him. His latest opera failed. His Italian opera company in London was disbanded. That same year Queen Caroline passed away and the commissions he had received for composing music for royal occasions all but dried up. A stroke experienced several years prior not only affected him physically, but affected his music. It seemed as if he had lost the genius that made his music so popular.
Late that year, Charles Jennens, a poet known by few, sent him a manuscript with a request that he set it to music. When he read the copy, the words gripped him. Suddenly he came alive. Immediately, he began to put the words to music. He labored all through that night and much of the following day. In fact, he worked day and night for 22 more days, barely stopping to eat or sleep.
When his composition was finished he sensed that it would be a true masterpiece. His “Messiah” was performed the following year and was an immediate success.
The words that Jennens wrote that inspired George Frideric Handel and lifted him out of the pit of despair were about the Savior: “He was despised and rejected of men. He looked for someone to have pity on him, but there was no man. He trusted in God. God did not leave his soul in hell. I know that my Redeemer lives. Rejoice. Hallelujah!”
Sometimes all it takes is a word of “encouragement.”
[Dale Flynn and his wife, Liz, are Word of Life Local Church Ministries missionaries in Eastern MD. Dale is a Local Church Ministries curriculum editor and is the editor of this Ministering to the Minister E-Transfer national electronic Pastor’s newsletter. The Flynns make their home in Elkton, MD. Questions or comments about this article may be addressed to Dale at: DFlynn@wol.org. ]