We'll Understand It Better By and By

Representative Text

1 We are often tossed and driv'n
On the restless sea of time.
Somber skies and howling tempests
oft succeed a bright sunshine.
In that land of perfect day,
When the mists have rolled away,
We will understand it better by and by.

By and by when the morning comes,
When the saints of God are gathered home,
We will tell the story how we've overcome;
For we'll understand it better by and by.

2 We are often destitute
Of the things that life demands.
Want of food and want of shelter,
thirsty hills and barren lands.
We are trusting in the Lord,
And according to his Word,
We will understand it better by and by. [Refrain]

3 Trials dark on ev'ry hand,
And we cannot understand,
All the ways that God would lead us
to that blessed Promised Land.
But he guides us with his eye
And we'll follow till we die.
For we'll understand it better by and by. [Refrain]

4 Temptations, hidden snares
Often take us unawares,
And our hearts are made to bleed
for some thoughtless word or deed.
And we wonder why the test
When we try to do our best,
But we'll understand it better by and by. [Refrain]

Source: Lead Me, Guide Me (2nd ed.) #574

Author: Charles Albert Tindley

Charles Albert Tindley was born in Berlin, Maryland, July 7, 1851; son of Charles and Hester Tindley. His father was a slave, and his mother was free. Hester died when he was very young; he was taken in my his mother’s sister Caroline Miller Robbins in order to keep his freedom. It seems that he was expected to work to help the family. In his Book of Sermons (1932), he speaks of being “hired out” as a young boy, “wherever father could place me.” He married Daisy Henry when he was seventeen. Together they had eight children, some of whom would later assist him with the publication of his hymns. Tindley was largely self-taught throughout his lifetime. He learned to read mostly on his own. After he and Daisy moved to Philadelphia… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: We are often tossed and driven on the restless sea of time
Title: We'll Understand It Better By and By
Author: Charles Albert Tindley (1905)
Meter: Irregular with refrain
Language: English
Refrain First Line: By and by, when the morning comes
Copyright: Public Domain


A major variant of this text, altered by B. B. McKinney, is When the Morning Comes (first line "Trials dark on every hand"). It is almost as frequently attested as the original, owing primarily to its widespread use among (especially Southern) Baptists.

For another variant, see here, first line "Here we’re often tossed and driv’n on the restless sea of time."



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