Over the past couple of weeks as I have been having health issues, I have put together a little prayer area in my bedroom. The space is filled with a “prayer chair,” sticky notes, journals and markers, and paintings for visuals to look up to. When I have not been feeling well, it is hard to pray, or think, or even get up with enough time to spend time with the Lord. Despite those days, this little sanctuary is a daily reminder that His presence never leaves and He is always near. It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed. Deuteronomy 31:8 At the beginning of the pandemic and into the fall, my prayer time became rich and full as I studied the book Spiritual Disciplines, and spent my early mornings […]
“This Is My Father’s World” is a hymn I was reintroduced to recently, and I have found its words to be calming in the midst of the anxious climate of uncertainties to be found outside my door. This blog is to be posted the Friday before an election that has brought about a great deal of division and disunity during a global pandemic that has also brought about the same. No matter what happens on this earth, the lyrics are a reminder that this is in fact our Father’s world, our future hope is secure in Him, and He is present in the intricate details of the world around us. Maltbie Davenport Babcock not only has a great name, but also wrote the words to this great hymn. Before heading out for evening walks, it is written that he would say, “I’m going out to see my Father’s world.” I […]
So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 1 John 4:16 “Abide in Me,” Jesus says. The words “Abide with Me” to the tune of the hymn have been playing in my mind, over and over again. This season has had many ups and downs. I find that I keep praying for many things or situations to occur or change in my present and in my future when I am realizing the one thing I truly need more of is Jesus. No matter the situation, I need God’s personal presence in every part of my life, and this is a song that pleas for it at the end of every verse–Abide with me. I hope it brings encouragement to you as well. The other evening, I […]
“Be still my soul”…easier said than done in this present time. Worrying has been a daily presence in my mind–the health of my loved ones, the jobs of my family and friends, my own job, my students, the future in general, being completely isolated if I get the virus. How am I supposed to keep everyone safe from something I cannot see? My soul has not been still. I have been battling for a still soul. And yet, I have had a hymn on repeat in my mind this week, reminding me over and over again: be still my soul, the Lord is on my side. The stronghold I can have on the feeling of control in my life and the lives of those around me cannot be gripped when things fall apart. The words of this hymn are a reminder that when the things in this life seem completely […]
Here is another throwback hymn for you! A hymn that has been used often in the past year at my church is “A Mighty Fortress is Our God” by Martin Luther. The words are a powerful force against spiritual warfare and times of trouble. It was not until I sang this song on my worship team that I looked more closely at each word, as it has been so long since I had heard or even thought of this hymn. It has proved to be helpful in times of need. Have you ever been plagued by thoughts at night? Almost every night before I sing on the worship team at my church, I can’t sleep. What happens is inconsistent. Sometimes I will be jolted awake every half hour throughout the night. As I try to fall back asleep, I will ruminate over why I need to be sleeping to be […]
I used to think that this hymn was a just a children’s song and often referred to it as the “rainbow hymn” because the only word I could remember from it was “rainbow.” Recently, I came across the story behind this hymn, different versions of the melody, and upon taking a closer look at the lyrics, I realized how deeply beautiful the words to be. George Matheson wrote this hymn in 1882. During schooling to become a minister, he started to become blind. When he told his fiance of his diagnosis, she left him. In order to make it through school, his sister learned several languages and helped write his papers. Eventually she would be the one to help him write his Sunday sermons to over 1500 church members. They were a team, but their work together would come to an end with his sister leaving him to be married. […]
I believe God wants what is best for us, God cares about each of us individually, and He has a good plan for us. Over the past year, my spiritual journey had its ups and downs and at times, doubt would creep in my mind here and there to the point where I found it hard to believe I had written a blog called, “God is always good.” I would think to myself: “I know He is good, but the world isn’t. How can I trust Him when I experience things that are not good?” My questioning led to a path of searching for answers from people and books, but most of those times, they would leave me feeling half full–I still could not trust the answers from a fallen world. I don’t have all the answers to my questions, to the suffering around me, my searching heart. I may […]
For the month of December, I have been reading through the gospel of Luke which details Jesus’ life. Throughout this time, I have been meditating on Jesus’ character, trying to pick out ways that I can be more like him. The following moment most recently struck me:
It is there when all other feelings are muted. It is an ache that turns deep in one’s heart. It is heartbrokenness that cuts deep like a sword. It may last hours into the night, walk with you for days on end, or hit you for a brief moment. That is what I call that feeling– the deep hurt. Maybe you’ve experienced it and have your own name for it, maybe you have yet to experience it. Maybe it was caused by circumstances out of your control like deep disappointment or betrayal, or an experience like a family member or friend passing away, a phone call with heartbreaking news.
Here is a hymn that is cherished in my heart. It is written from a singer’s perspective, knowing there is nothing we can do to save ourselves, only Jesus’ grace can give us hope, strengthen our unbelief, comfort us, and heal our hearts when they are broken. I sing this song to myself when times like these arise–sometimes it is hard to find words to pray, but I can repeat this hymn as words in my heart.