April 22

“Have Thine Own Way, Lord:” A Hymn About a Potter’s Story

There are times when we find ourselves facing a crossroad, confused with the many things going on in our lives, or struggling with something else, and on the verge of giving up. These situations offer us the best chance to simply drop whatever it is that burdens us unto God’s care. It is during these times that the only thing we can do is trust in Him. Let Him be in control. After all, He is God, the omnipotent one. And if you’re looking for something to deepen your faith in Him, “Have Thine Own Way, Lord” would be a great tune to listen to.

"Have Thine Own Way, Lord" by Adelaide Pollard, based on a potter's story
Photo credit: podomatic.com

“Have Thine Own Way, Lord” Background & Inspiration

This Christian hymn was born out of the author’s profound trust in her maker. Adelaide A. Pollard was inspired to write the hymn’s lyrics after visiting a prayer ceremony where she heard a woman say,

“It doesn’t really matter what you do with us, Lord, just have your own way with our lives.”

Prior to that, Pollard had a disheartening experience. She had a great wish to pay a missionary visit to Africa. However, she found herself unable to raise the fund needed for the journey. After hearing those encouraging words from that woman, she fell into deep contemplation of the potter’s story found in the book of Jeremiah 18:3.

When she went home that evening, she wrote down the words based on what she reflected on was able to complete all the four stanzas. The outcome was the famous hymn “Have Thine Own Way, Lord.”

Adelaide Pollard, "Have Thine Own Way, Lord"
Photo credit: umcdiscipleship.org

Five years passed after Pollard penned the lyrics, George Stebbins composed a melody which he named “Adelaide.” That tune was used to accompany the text written by Pollard.

The hymn went on to be sung by numerous artists. Among the famous names who covered the song was Johnny Cash, Jim Reeves, Mahalia Jackson, and the most recent one was Ronnie Milsap who included his recording on his 2009 album Then Sings My Soul.

Listen to Jim Reeves’ version of the song below.


Adelaide Pollard, George Stebbins, Have Thine Own Way Lord, Jim Reeves, Johnny Cash, Mahalia Jackson, Ronnie Mislap

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