Comfort in Death: Timeless Hymns of Courage
This story of trial and faith occurred in recent years, proving that the 'old hymns of the faith' still have power in the life of believers in our modern age. Most songs, most speeches are put to silence in the face of deep pain, but hymns? Hymns have the power to comfort, calm, strengthen, and point upward the heart that longs to please Him in every scene of life. Truly, the soul planted firmly on the Rock of ages can sing no matter the storm that beats round about them.
After years of severe illness, a beloved Christian wife and mother was nigh to the brink of death. Her salvation long since settled; she feared no evil. Though her days were cut far short of "threescore and ten," her confidence of hope was in her Saviour and not in long life. The concerns she expressed before her illness robbed her of speech were not for herself but her husband of more than 30 years and her young-adult children, though she mourned that she would not meet her grandchildren. By the grace of God, she was able to live out the months of her illness at home with every need provided in the face of significant financial strain.
Though her family knew it would be but a matter of time before she put off this mortal clay, they thought to have several more days yet. One evening, her condition stable, with her needs cared for by others, her faithful husband (who had seldom left her side) left for an important errand.
About an hour into his absence, she took a sudden turn for the worse. Breathing that had been steady now grew ragged, the pulse that had been slow and even, now fast and erratic. Her husband was notified of the change but was a full hour away from home.
With none else to call upon, son, daughter, and grandmother gathered close at her bedside and prayed to the Great Physician for aid. It was evident they must do something to calm the agitated sufferer, but what aid is there, truly, in the face of death? In their terror, they turned to a remedy countless saints have applied through the ages. The son took out the family hymn-book and, together in choked voices, they raised songs of praise and peace to the Father.
My Faith Looks Up to Thee.
Be Still, My Soul.
We Walk By Faith.
They sang, fighting tears to see the book, embracing to hold each other upright, but with faith unshaken by the 'valley of the shadow,' for He was with them. In seeking to comfort the dying, they were comforted themselves. Her condition improved somewhat as they sang, and her husband was able to return to her side. The following morning she passed from the body of this death to life everlasting with her Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Be still, my soul!– the Lord is on thy side,
Bear patiently the cross of grief and pain,
Leave to thy God to order and provide,
In ev'ry change, he faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul!– thy best, thy heav'nly 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 hast'ning on
When we shall be for ever 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.
Be still, my soul!– begin the song of praise
On earth, believing, to thy Lord on high;
Acknowledge him in all thy works 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.
Melody Publications’ focus is to reawaken the melody of truth in believers' hearts and minds at home and abroad. Our prayer is that our work would aid churches and families as they sing "Psalms and Hymns and Spiritual Songs" in praise and worship to our God.