Written in the 1700’s by Kathrin von Schlegel, Be Still My Soul confirms the value of “talking to yourself,” (which I love because I do a fair amount of it, particularly on my walks.) Stanza after stanza, the hymnwriter gives herself this directive: “Be still, my soul,” followed by reasons it’s possible, no matter one's circumstances:
-Because God is on your side and by your side.
-Because God is guiding and will guide even if it doesn’t make sense right now.
-Because whatever your “hard” is, it isn’t the end of the story God is writing.
-Because when it's all finished, we’ll be with Him.
I want to read this song as the challenge it is,
a revolutionary push back against a culture that says:
do it all,
do it fast,
and do it now.
When I remember that these lyrics were written nearly 300 years ago and the verse foundation, Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God,” came from David’s heart millennia ago, I realize that humanity has never NOT needed this reminder.
Kari Jobe’s rendition of this classic includes the addition of a chorus which is a declaration of “I’m doing it” to the admonition to trust, to be still, to rest. Be still my soul...and then, a lot of Yes:
In You I trust, You never let me go
I place my life within Your hands alone
(– and then back to this sage advice:)
Be still, my soul.
If you feel so busy,
that you aren’t sure which way to turn,
maybe start here.
Look in the mirror and say,
Be still my soul.