Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Be Still My Soul

When my wife and I became parents, we looked for songs to sing to our children. Even while in the womb we started singing selections from hymnals. One of my pastors said he sang "Be Still My Soul" to his girls, and it seemed like a really great lullaby.

So we started singing it to them around the time that they were born, and they've been hearing it since then for about three years (with other songs of course).

I share it here not only because it's a beautiful hymn, but also as another kind of lullaby, for those children who have fallen asleep in death prematurely, at the hands of evil men. I'm thinking particularly of the demonic terrorists in Iraq who have murdered little ones and others. May our heavenly Father comfort their parents and loved ones, who should never have had to deal with something like this. May God still the shaking souls of these parents, and give them persevering faith to hold on to him, especially now that they cannot hold on to their children.

You can hear three verses of the hymn here:

You can read all four verses here:

"Be Still, My Soul"
by Catharina von Schlegel, 1697-?
Translated by Jane Borthwick, 1813-1897
1. 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.

2. 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.

3. Be still, my soul, though 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 sorrows and thy fears.
Be still, my soul; thy Jesus can repay
From His own fulness all He takes away.

4. 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.

Hymn #651
The Lutheran Hymnal
Text: Psalm 46:10
Author: Catharine Amalia Dorothea von Schlegel, 1752, cento
Translated by: Jane Borthwick, 1855
Titled: "Stille, mein Wille"
Composer: Jean Sibelius, b. 1865, arr.
Tune: "Finlandia"
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