As I began planning posts for this series, I wrote the title of this one on Sunday afternoon.
Each hour, the bells at church play a hymn. At noon on Monday, the bells played “Abide with Me”.
I heard and sang this hymn a few weeks ago with a group of my fellow professional church workers. It is one of my favorite hymns, although I’ve more often than not sung it at funerals. As we sang it, tears formed in my eyes, as I resonated with the depth of the words in a new way.
v. 1: Abide with me: fast falls the eventide;
the darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.
Depression is dark. In the last several months, I have encountered this disease in ways I have never experienced before, both through the struggle of my spouse, and the depth of my own soul. Many days, I have felt helpless.
v. 2: I need Thy presence ev’ry passing hour;
What but Thy grace can foil the tempter’s pow’r?
Who like Thyself my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, O abide with me.
This verse is comforting in the walk through depression/anxiety. For someone suffering, every hour can be a struggle. The knowledge that God is present with us all the time brings comfort when the time passes slowly. The power of God’s grace over the desire of Satan to rule our lives is mercy unimaginable.
Today I am thankful that the sun is shining outside and in my heart.
v. 6: Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes;
Shine through the gloom, and point me to the skies.
Heav’n’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee;
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.
Though some of these earthly days are hard, I am thankful each day when I wake up. There is joy in what we have each been blessed with in this life. My ultimate hope is in the eternal life I have received through Jesus Christ, my Savior. I will strive to love others, point them to Jesus and enjoy this life I have been given, but I will also rejoice when it’s my time to join God in Heaven.