Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Resting in God

I was reminded of a wonderful old hymn recently, and its been in my mind all day, providing so much peace:

I rest on thee our shield and our defender!
We go not forth alone against the foe;
Strong in thy strength, safe in thy keeping tender,
We rest on thee, and in thy name we go.

Yes, in thy name, O captain of salvation!
In thy dear name, all other names above:
Jesus our righteousness, our sure foundation,
Our Prince of glory and our King of love.

We go in faith, our own great weakness feeling,
And needing more each day thy grace to know:
Yet from our hearts a song of triumph pealing;
We rest on thee, and in thy name we go.

We rest on thee our shield and our defender!
Thine is the battle, thine shall be the praise;
When passing through the gates of pearly splendour,
Victors we rest with thee through endless days.
Edith G. Cherry (1872-97)

The tune (Finlandia) has such a quiet dignity about it, beautifully matched by the words - confident, but only in God, never in ourselves. This is a song to sing when we feel the enemy attacking, when we become painfully aware that this world is so broken, when we know of struggle, when we hear of situations we just can't understand, and yet when we know (or need to remind ourselves) that the battle is the Lord's and we can quietly rest in his love and sovereignty.

I'm really starting to love older hymns.

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