Last night as I was trying to fall asleep, I felt agitated. Missing my granddaughter all day yesterday caused me to feel uneasy. So as I laid in my bed, I felt my heart racing with anxiety. I recalled these words, and repeated them to myself over and over, “Be still, my soul.”
One of the most beloved hymns, “Be Still, My Soul” includes many spiritual themes. The hymn sings its own timeless message, but I would like to call attention to some of its thoughts:
– The first is to find ways to still one’s soul, to rest calmly in your spirit.
– Be patient with grief and pain, because God will care for you, remaining faithful through every life change.
– Though our path may be thorny, God will lead us to a joyful end.
– God will guide the future just as he has guided the past. So let nothing shake your hope. Even though now things may be mysterious to you, the brightness of knowledge will come.
– The waves and winds still know the voice of God who rules them.
– When loved ones depart and we are left in tears, then we will know God’s heart and God’s love more clearly. God will repay from his fullness all he takes away.
– The day when we will be with the Lord is hastening. It will be a time when sorrow, grief and fear no longer assail us, and love’s purest joys will be restored to us. Change and tears will be past, and we will meet safe and blessed at the end of this earthly life.
Now enjoy the words of this hymn:
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 blessed we shall meet at last.
Words: Katharina A. von Schlegel, in Neue Sammlung Geistlicher Lieder, 1752 (Stille, meine Wille, dein Jesus hilft siegen); translated from German to English by Jane L. Borthwick in Hymns from the Land of Luther, 1855.
Music: Finlandia, Jean Sibelius, 1899 (MIDI, score). Alternate tune: Unde et Memores, William H. Monk, 1875 (MIDI, score)
This hymn was reportedly the favorite of Eric Liddell, the athlete who became famous in the 1924 Olympics for refusing to run on the Sabbath (see the movie Chariots of Fire). Liddell later became a missionary in China, and was imprisoned during World War II. He is said to have taught this hymn to others in the prison camp (where he eventually died of a brain tumor).
Hear it on YouTube at https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=_6HSrcTvMqU or at https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=tqb125qDqVA.