When God Whispers

I'm not the kind of person that normally listens to hymns. My iPod pretty much has the same songs on it as the internet radio station TheBlast.fm (that's Christian Rock; don't follow that link unless you like fairly hard music). My favorite bands are Disciple, Skillet, etc.... you get the point. 

But, I play the piano, and one of my favorite pastimes is to play... hymns! I have this big ol' hymnal (the large version of "Sing To the Lord" by the Nazarene church, for those of you who are interested)  and I'll play for hours, just turning the pages and playing whatever comes up. Usually, I do this when I'm stressed... or frustrated... or tired. Some of my best times with God have been while playing hymns on the piano. I guess, because it's different than what I normally listen to, it's something special... and the words to some of those classic hymns are incredible. 

I have my old favorites... How Firm a Foundation (you have to sing every verse to that song); Oh the Deep Deep Love of Jesus (love the tune to that one)... but once in a while I'll find a brand-new one that I have never heard before. And sometimes the words will just hit me over the head... it's like God just reaches down, taps me on the shoulder, and goes "I have something to say to you right now. Listen to this." 

That happened this afternoon. 
I've been a bit stressed lately. I'm extremely excited about this next chapter of life, but today, nevertheless, I was stressed. Several things play into that. Moving is a stress anytime. Add that to moving away from where I grew up. To a brand new country. To be followed closely by another move and the start of college. Leaving friends (that is proving pretty difficult for me). Annnd then... a close friend of mine's dad passed away a few days ago. 
Add that to stupidly small things, like frustrations of trying to work out plane reservations on the phone, and making sure my suitcase is under 20kg; and you have a very stressed Danielle sitting down to the keyboard this evening. Ehh... maybe God just thought it was time to remind me of a few truths.

I was playing a favorite (Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah), and then turned the page to hymn number 97. I'd never seen it before, but just started playing at the beginning without reading the words first... reading them for the first time as I played.

Well, the tune is amazing too; but I can't put it on my blog easily; so the words will have to do. I started crying halfway through the first verse.

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 ev'ry change He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul; thy best, thy heav'nly 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 wind still know 
His vioce who ruled them while He dwelt below.

Be still, my soul; the hour is hast'ning 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.


  1. Danielle,
    I knew there was some kind of connection. That is exactly what I used to do when I was stressed. Playing the piano in the basement of the dorm got me through my first year of college. I agree God is amazing. He is so... I don't even know how to say it. He sends things our way when we need them the most to increase our faith, to comfort us. I agree that song is awesome. I even know the tune. Thank you and keep writing. Just wanted to let you know I read them and I am praying for you and yours as you make this transition.

  2. Thanks, Lori, for your prayers... I pray for you as well, and your family.
    We'll all make it... God is in control, as always!
    Love ya.

  3. my beautiful cousin,
    indeed, you are in a very stressful time in life. So many uncertainties and questions go through your head as you prepare to leave your family. How much more so is this true when you are leaving even your country? I cannot imagine. You are constantly in my prayers and thoughts. I am so proud to see how you have developed into such a woman of God! You and your parents are indeed pillars of wisdom that point to our wonderful Lord in a time when no one seems to be as straight as they should.

    Love ya girl!

  4. Don't you love it that the Lord knows exactly what we need to hear at precisely the right time? Hymns are such a wonderful way to calm down and tune in to God.