Eliza Hewitt wrote this poem after being relieved of her body cast, worn for six months. She had been a school teacher and while disciplining a boy, was struck by him in the back with a heavy piece of slate. The incident caused her to become bed bound for six months, and led to months of being an invalid and years of suffering.
The song first appeared in print in 1887 in the song book, Glad Hallelujahs.
Kenneth W. Osbeck, 101 More Hymn Stories (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Kregel Publications, 1985), p. 181.
William J. Reynolds, Companion to Baptist Hymnal (Nashville, Tennessee: Broadman Press, 1976), pp. 221, 222.