On a day like today, and any day really, hymns are an incredible resource for helping us form words we can not muster up on our own, confess our doubt and sorrow, and hear truth when we can not find it. I feel indebted to the authors of hymns from across the ages, thankful that we get to learn from their struggle and join in singing with them years later about the pain and tension of walking with Christ in a broken world. Praise choruses are good, but singing deeply and specifically about pain, doubt, mourning and joy are in some way much more helpful and meaningful to me.
You can listen to this hymn I've had on repeat today here.
Pensive, doubting, fearful heart,
Hear what Christ the Savior says.
Every word should joy impart,
Change thy mourning into praise.
Yes, he speaks, and speaks to thee,
May he help thee to believe!
Then thou presently wilt see,
Thou hast little cause to grieve.
"Fear thou not, nor be ashamed,
All thy sorrows soon shall end.
I who heaven and earth have framed,
Am thy husband and thy friend.
I the High and Holy One,
Israel's GOD by all adored,
As thy Savior will be known,
Thy Redeemer and thy Lord.”
“For a moment I withdrew,
And thy heart was filled with pain,
But my mercies I'll renew,
Thou shalt soon rejoice again.
Though I scorn to hide my face,
Very soon my wrath shall cease.
‘Tis but for a moment's space,
Ending in eternal peace.”
“When my peaceful bow appears,
Painted on the watery cloud,
'Tis to dissipate thy fears,
Lest the earth should be overflowed.
'Tis an emblem too of grace,
Of my covenant love a sign.
Though the mountains leave their place,
Thou shalt be forever mine.
Though afflicted, tempest-tossed,
Comfortless awhile thou art,
Do not think thou canst be lost,
Thou art graven on my heart.
All thy walls I will repair,
Thou shalt be rebuilt anew,
And in thee it shall appear,
What a God of love can do.