When Sorrows Rise

It has been a year with much loss. In May my sister-in-law took her own life. The very next day Tim’s father died, following months of declining health. And then last week, as many of you know, Kara and Collin lost their baby whom they (and we) already loved and were so longing to meet.

Especially in dark days and months I find myself turning again and again to the book of Psalms. In Psalms you can find just about every emotion, and I just love the honesty. But even when the psalmist is expressing doubt or despair, he doesn’t end there. I’m always reminded that like the psalmist, my hope, my strength, my everything is found only in the LORD of heaven and earth. As I read Psalms I am reminded again and again of who God is, which makes all the difference. Many years the Lord seems to impress on me a Psalm for that year. This year it is Psalm 42.

A hymn writer of long ago, Anne Steele, penned her own prayer during a time of trouble, “Dear Refuge of My Weary Soul,” which I’ve written about before. Once again I’ve found solace in this hymn which to me reads like it could be from the book of Psalms. Here it is:


Dear refuge of my weary soul, On Thee when sorrows rise,

On Thee when waves of trouble roll, My fainting heart relies.

To Thee I tell each rising grief, For Thou alone canst heal.

Thy Word can bring a sweet relief, For every pain I feel.



But oh! When gloomy thoughts prevail, I fear to call Thee mine.

The springs of comfort seem to fail, And all my hopes decline.

Yet gracious God where shall I flee? Thou art my only trust.

And still my soul would cleave to Thee Though prostrate in the dust.



Hast Thou not bid me see Thy face, And shall I seek in vain?

And can the ear of sovereign grace Be deaf when I complain?

No still the ear of sovereign grace, Attends the mourner’s prayer.

Oh may I ever find access, To breathe my sorrows there.



Thy mercy seat is open still, Here let my soul retreat.

With humble hope attend Thy will, And wait beneath Thy feet.

Thy mercy seat is open still, Here let my soul retreat.

With humble hope attend Thy will, And wait beneath Thy feet.




Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God. (Psalm 42:9)

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