All now mysterious shall be bright
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 winds still know
His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below. — Katharina von Schlegel
In seventh grade, I played clarinet in our school band, and we learned to play what became one of my favorite pieces of classical music, the beautiful theme from Finlandia by Sibelius, to which these lyrics were written. I’ve always thought the hymn comforting, particularly for one such as I, who often has to remind myself to be still amid the crises and anxieties of life.
One Saturday night in September 2012, the song became especially dear to me, as I sang it to myself while driving alone at 11:00 pm on the dark and unfamiliar roads to the hospital. Jeff was in emergency surgery for appendicitis, after having called me with the devastating news that they had found tumors on his liver and suspected metastatic cancer. I was beside myself with shock and fear, but singing these words gave me an anchor in the storm, and somehow helped me get to the hospital safely despite being far too upset to drive.
Perhaps my distraught emotions that Saturday night were not so very different from those felt by the friends and loved ones of Jesus on that Saturday nearly two thousand years ago. More than once I’ve heard it said of them, “Sunday was coming, but they didn’t know it yet.” The shock, grief and uncertainty of what might lie ahead must have been overpowering. Did they, like me, cling to a hope that felt more desperate than logical?
I’m sure most everyone reading this has faced something similar, a time of great sorrow, fear and inner turmoil. Perhaps some are facing such a dark night of the soul right now. If so, my prayer for you is that you will find the balm of peace, and rays of hope that joy will come in the morning.
Last year on the day before Easter: