Friday, January 22, 2010

Abide With Me

Life is full of ups and downs. It is the nature of life itself here on planet earth. Nothing ever stays the same forever and the world is constantly changing. This is not a new or particularly insightful observation. Down through the years this has been the testimony of many who have taken the time to reflect on their lives and what is going on around them. The more poetic among us have put pens to paper and written about "the change and decay" that marks our world. One such hymn is "Abide with Me," by Henry F. Lyte. In it the author speaks of his hope in God in the midst of a troubled world. It has been a hymn that is particularly helpful and most appropriate when the problems of life transcend human help.

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.

Swift to its close ebbs out life's little day. Earth's joys grow dim; its glories fade away.
Change and decay in all around I see; O Thou who changest not, abide with me.

I need Thy presence every passing hour. What but Thy grace can foil the tempter's power?
Who, like Thyself, my Guide and Stay can be? Thro' cloud and sunshine, O abide with me.

I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless; Ills have no weight and tears no bitterness.
Where is death's sting? Where, grave, thy victory? I triumph still if Thou abide with me.

Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes; Shine thro' the gloom and point me to the skies.
Heav'ns morning breaks, and earth's vain shadows flee. In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.

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