we sang this hymn last sunday, and being a classical musician with more than a few sibelius pieces under my belt, i've always loved it for the melody alone. but over the past week, the words have resonated in my life and in the lives of many, many friends and family around me.
here is the crux: my faith, and the joy therein, rests not on good or bad fortune, not on circumstance, not on the persuasiveness of clever arguments, not on the merit of my own actions, not on the conviction of my own mind or the force of my own will. no: my faith, and the joy therein, is founded completely in the work of Christ laying death in its grave. death and all its cohorts have been swallowed up in victory. as i sang today with quick said the bird, "as we wait for the dawn//will you stay awake?//we'll be naked again//but we'll feel no shame//everything will be revealed//and we'll have no pain//all creation will sing//our song's refrain."
Christ is the Victor, Christ is our treasure. His kindness is greater than any good thing we could gain on earth, His love is more able to heal than any evil is able to hurt. there is nothing that could happen that would be so bad that His goodness cannot overwhelm it. there is nothing that could happen that would be so good that His goodness would not still be better than it.
in the face of the unknown future, in the face of new challenges, in the face of returning cancer, in the face of lost friends, in the face of broken marriages, in the face of suddenly expanding families, in the face of disappointment, in the face of depression, in the face of sin ... be still, my soul: this is not the end of the story.
be still, my soul: the Lord is on your side.
bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
leave to your God to order and provide;
in every change, God faithful will remain.
be still, my soul: your best, your heavenly Friend
through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.
be still, my soul: your God will undertake
to guide the future, as in ages past.
your hope, your confidence let nothing shake;
all now mysterious shall be bright at last.
be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know
the Christ 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 blessed we shall meet at last.