My peers and myself have reached the stage of life where calling each other on a regular basis with upsetting news about medical conditions, tragic family events, retirement woes and the like, has become the norm. It is called The Realities of Middle Age.
I don't know who came up with the idea of calling older age The Golden Years.......in my opinion the only thing golden about them are the streets of heaven I hope to someday walk upon!!
Last night I got a call from yet another friend diagnosed with a devastating chronic illness. She was in complete shock and so was I when she told me.
When things like this are brought to my attention my first internal response, while the news is being absorbed, is to remember the lyrics to old hymns we sang in the various churches I grew up in. Here are a few lyrics that have reminded me of God's working in my life, even during the worst of times. Some of them seem pretty inane, the theology isn't always the most correct, but when my emotions need soothing they are the ones I run to play on my keyboard. They are the ones I blubber about on, trying to sing when my heart is broken. You can look at me askance if you like, but I believe that emotions are just as much a part of our created beings as our sensibilities and there are times when they are in desperate need of comforting. I make no apologies for occasionally needing emotional comfort and turning to God for it in this way.
So, here are some of my faves:
1. A Shelter in the Time of Storm--lyrics by Vernon J. Charlesworth
The Lord's our Rock in Him we hide, a shelter in the time of storm.
Secure whatever ill betide, a shelter in the time of storm.
O Jesus is a Rock in a weary land......a shelter in the time of storm.
2. Leaning on the Everlasting Arms--lyrics by Elisha A. Hoffman
What have I to dread, what have I to fear,
Leaning on the everlasting arms;
I have blessed peace with my Lord so near,
Leaning on the everlasting arms.
Leaning, leaning, safe and secure from all alarms.....
3. Trusting Jesus--lyrics by Edgar P. Stites
Simply trusting day by day, trusting through a stormy way;
Even when my faith is small, trusting Jesus that is all.
Trusting as the moments fly, trusting as the days go by,
Trusting Him whate'er befall, trusting Jesus, that is all.
4. Under His Wings--lyrics by William O. Cushing
Under His wings, what a refuge in sorrow!
How the heart yearningly turns to His rest!
Often when earth has no balm for my healing,
There I find comfort and there I am blest.
Under his wings, O what precious enjoyment!
There will I hide till life's trials are o'er.
Sheltered, protected, no evil can harm me,
Resting in Jesus I'm safe ever more.
5. Moment by Moment--lyrics by Daniel W. Whittle
Never a trial that He is not there,
Never a burden that He doth not bear;
Never a sorrow that He doth not share,
Moment by moment, I'm under His care.
6. God Will Take Care of You--lyrics by Civilla D. Martin
Be not dismayed at whate'er betide, God will take care of you.
Beneath His wings of love abide, God will take care of you.
Old hymns encourage me, the good ones, the mediocre ones and the downright ridiculous ones. When my emotions need healing they are my safe and comforting place. Singing songs from my childhood days in church is a healing experience.