Be Still My soul!

I woke up with one line of an old hymn, “Leave to thy God to order and provide,-” As the hymn didn’t come to mind immediately, I searched my hymnal and found the beautiful old hymn, “Be Still My Soul!” I spent my quiet time with the Lord pondering the meaning of the words, the comfort and encouragement of ¬†each thought expressed!

“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 thro’ 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! 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.”

The words are so applicable at this time of year as we prepare to end one year and begin another. In the rush and worry of Christmas we need to spend time in stillness! Life is short and stress is a thief, robbing us of joy and often our health. Be still in your soul!

Psalm 46:10 expresses some of the same thoughts which I will paraphrase, “Cease striving, let go, relax, stand silent, Know that I Am God!” The reason we can have the stillness of soul is because we know God (intimately)! We have a relationship with Him that is immovable no matter what comes our way. He is my God!

The Psalm begins with, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help. He’s abundantly available for help in trouble (or tight places.) Therefore we will not fear even if the world blows up and the mountains crumble into the sea.

4-There is a river of joy flowing through the City of God, the sacred home of the God above all gods. God, Himself is living in that city; therefore it stands unmoved despite the turmoil everywhere. He will not delay His help. The Commander of the armies of heaven is here among us. He has come to rescue us. Come and see the glorious things God does.”

When God is in the city, in my heart, in my home, I can stand unmoved by the turmoil around me. I can commit my future to Him, leaving the ordering and provision to Him because I know He has looked after all my needs and even some wants in the past.

I refuse to let my hope and confidence be shaken because I know the waves and winds, the storms that come my way, are subject to Him. They still know His voice!! On the Sea of Galilee, Jesus spoke to the waves and the wind which stopped at His command.

This world is not my home! Someday all sorrows, disappointments, fear and grief will no longer have any place in my life and I shall go to my forever home to be with Him. In the meantime I make time to be still, to reflect on the goodness of God towards me. I spend time in His Word as He speaks to me and I talk to Him with thankfulness!

 

 

 

SOUL WORTH

The words of a carol, “O Holy Night” brought to my mind some thoughts about Christmas that get lost in all the flurry and busyness of the season. “Oh, holy night! The stars are brightly shining. It is the night of the dear Savior’s birth; Long lay the world in sin and error pining, ’til He appeared and the soul felt it’s worth.”

“A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices. For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn. Fall on your knees. Oh hear the angel voices! Oh night divine, O night when Christ was born.”

The Christmas message brings different soul responses. After the message from the angel that she would bear a holy child, Who would be called the Son of God and the confirmation of Elizabeth and the child she was carrying, Mary said, “My soul exalts the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God, my Savior.” (Luke 1:46)

What would cause the soul to feel it’s worth at His appearing? What would cause Mary’s soul to exalt the Lord? Who is this One Who causes hope to rise in a weary world? His name is Jesus. The angel who visited Joseph told him, “Do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bear a Son and you shall call His name Jesus, for it is He Who will save His people from their sins. (Matt 1:20-21)

Paul wrote to Timothy, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners -” (1 Tim 1:15) He added, “of whom I am chief.” The truth is we have all sinned by turning our back on God. We want our own way, we don’t believe God has our best interests at heart, so we don’t trust Him. This goes back to Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. Without God we try to find satisfaction in other things, but deep down there is something missing. We feel empty and lost in our soul, our core being.

We don’t know who we are! We don’t feel our worth! All that we attain in this world is of no lasting value. Jesus once asked two important questions, “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?” and “What shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Mark 8:36, 37) Jesus came because a man’s soul is eternal, it has great value! He values man’s soul so much that He left the splendor of heaven and came to earth to be born in a lowly stable.

As a tiny baby He was wrapped in cloths and laid in a manger. In our modern language He was born in a barn and laid in the feeding trough on hay that cattle would eat. His parents were poor, homeless people who became refugees when they had to flee to Egypt to save His life. He understands homelessness, poverty and being a refugee. But the value of man’s soul goes beyond His birth which we celebrate at Christmas.

He was born, He lived in relative obscurity for thirty years and then for three years He poured His life into twelve men who would carry on His work after Him, spreading the message. And then He died! The value of man’s soul caused Jesus to die! That was the reason He came. Man’s sin, rebellion against God, can not be overlooked. The soul that sins needs a Savior! “The wages of sin is death but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus, our Lord.” (Rom 6:23)

When I keep doing things I shouldn’t do and living my life without God, I can never be good enough to merit eternal life with God in heaven. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father but through Me.” (John 14:6) So, the worth of my soul is measured by the love of God Who sent His Son to earth so that I could have eternal life with Him in heaven. For me that’s what Christmas is all about!