Singing hymns, songs, and choruses has and continues to be a vital part of Christian worship and fellowship. Whether it is a scripture composed into a hymn or the poetic words of someone gifted with the ability to awaken the echoes of God dwelling in us, we all have our favorites. So I thought I would occasionally share some of my favorites and if you have a favorite or two that you would like to share, then by all means feel free to do so.
The hymn that is dearest to me is Be Still, My Soul written in 1752 by Katharina von Schlegel and translated into English by Jane L. Borthwick in 1855. I did not learn this hymn until I was a seminary student at Harding University Graduate School of Religion in Memphis, Tennessee. There I was sitting in chapel with my pretend happy face on while truthfully my faith was dying and being ripped apart as I tried to reconcile faith in a good and loving God with the reality that my son (and only child at the time) had died. The words of this hymn spoke eloquently to both the grief and pain that was consuming me and the faith that I longed to have which felt at the time beyond grasp.
Though there are more stanzas to this hymn, I have included the stanzas which are included in the hymnal Songs of Faith and Praise which is used by many Churches of Christ in North America. Here are the words:
Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side.
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change, He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heavenly Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.
Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake
To guide the future, as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know
His voice Who ruled them while He dwelt below.
Be still, my soul: the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord.
When disappointment, grief and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past
All safe and blessèd we shall meet at last.