Be Still My Soul

Be still my soul, your God is on your side.

Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.

Leave to your God to order and provide;

in every change, he faithful will remain.

Be still my soul.

Your best, your heavenly friend through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

I’ve mentioned before that I love language, and a defining factor in that love of words is the amazing blessing of hymns.  I don’t know how familiar you are with hymns, but I am always finding the most beautiful language saturating this type of music.  I recently sang this hymn in church and it hasn’t quite left my mind since then.  How often do we really stop to be still?  I don’t mean stop moving or take a breather from life; I mean the sort of stillness that comes from having God settled on your heart.  The kind of stillness when you stop shouting commands and complaints at God and simply sit at His feet.  My religion teacher once told me that be still really means to shut up.  God wants us to stop all of the motion and distraction in our souls and simply listen to Him.

Whatever happens, God has you covered.  He is leading you where He wants to place you, and your job is simply to be still.

Be still my soul; your God will undertake

to guide the future as he has the past.

Your hope, your confidence, let nothing shake.

All now mysterious shall be bright at last.

Be still my soul.

The wind and waves still know his voice who ruled them while he dwelt below.

I especially love the last line of that verse.  God calmed the storm at sea with only a few words.  Can you guess what they were?  That’s right: “Be still.” (Mark 4:39)  Storms are not infallible.  God can bring peace and an end to suffering with something so deceivingly simple as His words.  And He hasn’t left us to fend for ourselves either; the wind and waves still know His voice.  There is nothing that can keep Him from you.  What a comfort that is, to know that God is not only the creator and commander of all creation, but he is also desiring to use that immense power to form an intimate bond of peace with you and with me.  Call me a Jesus freak, but I can’t help but be overawed by the power of my God.

Be still my soul, though dearest friends depart

and all is darkened in the veil of tears.

Then you will better know his love, his heart,

who comes to soothe your sorrows and your fears.

Be still my soul.

Your Jesus can repay from His own fullness all he takes away.

This verse makes me tear up every time I read it.  I have had dearest friends depart, and I know firsthand how dark the veil of tears can be.  And yet, I have a God who knows how to heal.  He has also promised that, one day, we shall be whole and hale again when we live with Him in eternity.  He will not neglect the gaping hole that death tears in the heart, but rather he will lovingly repair it so that it is even more complete than the original.  God tells us that our miseries are not forever.  He has a plan to right this world and to reconcile us to Him and to give us blessings beyond that which we can even imagine.

Be still my soul.  The hour is hastening on

when we shall be forever with the Lord.

When disappointment, fear, and grief 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.

We have hope.  And that hope is a certainty that our God will make good on His promises.  He will bring us out of all suffering, all pain, all troubles at all.  We will be freely, joyfully, perfectly God’s.

Another thing that struck me in that verse was the word “change.”  I’m at the turning point where a whole lot of things are going to change in my life in just a few months.  Right now, I can’t decide if that is super exciting or crazy terrifying.  I am so excited to begin to really be an adult, but I have so much trepidation about the future.  The reassuring thing is that God has promised that He will lead me through these changes.  Without His guidance, I would have no way to navigate the changes that are coming in my life, but I don’t need to worry.

Be still my soul

I pray that my soul may find stillness in Christ, and that yours might too.


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