I went to a funeral today. I didn’t know the man who died very well, but one of his daughters goes to my church. She is close to my age, and her dad was close to my parents’ age. I know from hearing about him from others that he was a very sweet and wonderful Christian man, and I know he is happy in the arms of Jesus right now. Yet as I sat there at the funeral, tears were streaming down my face. I could not stop thinking of my friend and how she must miss her daddy already…how much I would miss my own dad if he were suddenly gone from this earth… My thoughts were filled with the faces of people I love who have gone already, as well as those who are still here but may meet Jesus any day. And then I thought of those in my family who I am uncertain about in regards to their relationship with Christ….more tears came then.
I cannot take one day forgranted. I cannot let my loved ones pass from this life to the next without telling them of my love, and even more importantly, of Christ’s love for them. I CAN rest in the comfort of God’s Spirit within me, whispering hope and peace to my aching heart. I CAN know that Jesus sympathizes with the pain of everyone who has lost someone dear to them, because he, too, wept over the death of his friend Lazarus. And I CAN be assured of great joy in the life to come, because my Jesus conquered death and is alive. I serve a risen Savior, and all who trust in Him will one day be with Him in heaven. So, even in the midst of tears and pain, I can say, “Be still, my soul: The Lord is on thy side.”
“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 blessèd we shall meet at last.
Be still, my soul: begin the song of praise
On earth, believing, 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.”
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.