A Hymnal in my Soul

I’ve been singing hymns this morning. Last night some of the students in our ministry wanted to look at our wedding album. After that came the childhood albums. Looking through the pictures of my family from birth to elementary school*, high school, college and present day I realized that most of my childhood revolved around church activities. Of course there were also extracurricular school activities like marching band and service clubs, but I would say at least 75% of my childhood photos are somehow related to church.

As I thought back through some of those years hymn after hymn started to play through my mind. I loved those hymns as a child and as an adolescent and even as a college student. I didn’t know I wasn’t supposed to love them. I didn’t know I was supposed to only enjoy contemporary worship songs played on a guitar with at least a djembe in the background if not a full drum kit. For my ignorance I am grateful.

I, as most of my generation, eventually landed on the thought that antiquated forms of worship were somehow inadequate, somehow lacking in the Holy Spirit’s blessing. Something about that never felt quite right but everyone my age thought the same way so outwardly I, too, agreed that hymns simply weren’t meant for modern worship.

God never allows us to stay where we are for long if where we are is a dangerous path leading away from true worship. He is always teaching. For our family God used a period of about 2 years to teach us. God took us away from our church family and moved us to churches that taught us truth about worship. What I came away with was an invaluable lesson that fills my soul every Sunday morning and every time a song of praise runs through my mind. If my heart is not worshipping because of the song being sung or the music being played it is not the music or musician’s fault. The only one at fault is me and my prideful heart. And with that thought the hymnal in my soul springs to life allowing me to connect with my Creator who fills me – Deep within my heart a melody, Jesus whispers sweet and low. In those moments I find myself reaching into the index of my brain and turning to page fill-in-the-blank to sing the first, second and last verses of the sweet melodies that pointed me to Christ as a child and will continue moving me toward him with each refrain.

The Lily of the Valley

I have found a friend in Jesus,
he’s everything to me,
he’s the fairest of ten thousand to my soul;
the Lily of the Valley, in him alone I see
all I need to cleanse and make me fully whole.
In sorrow he’s my comfort, in trouble he’s my stay,
he tells me every care on him to roll.

He’s the Lily of the Valley,
the bright and Morning Star,
he’s the fairest of ten thousand to my soul. 

He all my grief has taken, and all my sorrows borne;
in temptation he’s my strong and mighty tower;
I have all for him forsaken, and all my idols torn
from my heart, and now he keeps me by his power.
Though all the world forsake me, and Satan tempts me sore,
through Jesus I shall safely reach the goal. 

He’s the Lily of the Valley,
the bright and Morning Star,
he’s the fairest of ten thousand to my soul. 

He will never, never leave me, nor yet forsake me here,
while I live by faith and do his blessed will;
a wall of fire about me, I’ve nothing now to fear,
with his manna he my hungry soul shall fill.
Then sweeping up to glory, to see his blessed face,
where rivers of delight shall ever roll.

He’s the Lily of the Valley,
the bright and Morning Star,
he’s the fairest of ten thousand to my soul. 

*Note to self: seriously bad fashion choices, Ash.



Filed under Words

2 responses to “A Hymnal in my Soul

  1. First of all, those fashion choices were very popular… just ahead of their time. Secondly, I love hymns, too 🙂

  2. Sweet. Glad you shared this.

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