Saturday, June 4, 2011

Be Still My Soul

Psalm 46:10
"Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."

The months have slipped by since I first wrote about my word for this year: "Quiet." When I heard the Lord whispering that word into my heart, I thought primarily about my tongue, and the lack of control thereof, and my surroundings - shutting off the noise all around me. However, I have since discovered that He had much more in mind when He chose this simple word.

These days, while still working on guarding my tongue and creating a quiet atmosphere in our home, I am thinking more about keeping a quiet heart. It simply isn't possible for me to control the circumstances of my life the way I would like to. There can be turmoil and tumult deep inside even when all around me is quiet. It is then that I need to take a moment to still my heart and go to Him, trusting that He is with me.

Trust is something I keep coming back to. It is the place of perfect peace and rest. When I remember who He is and what He has promised to do, my heart slows its frantic pace. Though circumstances may still rage around me, there is a reservoir of peace and a place of quiet deep within.

This hymn speaks so eloquently the things I want to say. It was written by Katharine von Schlegel centuries ago. There is little known about this German woman. She was born in 1696 and died in 1768. It was a time when there was a spiritual revival known as the Pietistic Revival taking place in Germany, similar to the Wesleyan and Puritan movements.

The Christian Church had grown stagnant during the Middle Ages, and with the revival of evangelism came the renewal of hymn singing. New hymns were written which were filled with piety, Christian experience and faithfulness to the Scriptures. This is one such hymn.

As a little side-note, it was the favorite hymn of Olympic athlete Eric Liddell. His refusal to run on the Sabbath was documented in the movie "Chariots of Fire." During the second World War Eric, serving as a missionary in China, was taken captive. He taught this song to the other prisoners in the camp.

Eric died of a brain tumor during his captivity. The story is told that while he lay dying he asked that this song be played. The beautiful words surely must have blessed and quieted his heart.

Be Still My Soul

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: when dearest friends depart,
And all is darkened in the vale of tears,
Then shalt thou better know His love, His heart,
Who comes to soothe thy sorrow and thy fears.
Be still, my soul: thy Jesus can repay
From His own fullness all He takes away.

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 bless├Ęd we shall meet at last.

Be still, my soul: begin the song of praise
On earth, be leaving, to Thy Lord on high;
Acknowledge Him in all thy words and ways,
So shall He view thee with a well pleased eye.
Be still, my soul: the Sun of life divine
Through passing clouds shall but more brightly shine.


P.S. Nancy Leigh DeMoss taught this past week on "Keep a Quiet Heart." It was a deeply moving series. You can listen at her website Revive Our Hearts.
I know you'll be blessed.