I was listening to one of my very favorite hymns the other day, “Be Thou My Vision.” As I listened to words of this beautiful, Irish prayer fill the room, I was brought to tears of relief and gratefulness to my God.
The world can be a scary place. Our current circumstances are unsettling, and fear and worry seem to be ever-present in what we see and hear happening all around us. It’s so easy to be entangled by them, to see nothing but our present circumstances and succumb to feeling helpless and hopeless, with nothing to do but wait for the virus to sweep over us all. Our thoughts run wild with worst case scenarios, complaints about restrictions and new obligations we didn’t ask for, all peppered by a general sense of fear over the future.
This hymn brought me back to the Truth. When things are confusing and scary, where can I turn? Turn away from the temporal circumstances that threaten my peace, and fix my eyes on the Author of all things:
Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.
When my thoughts are saturated with the Truth of the Lord, there is no more room for anxiety to run rampant in my heart. When the Lord is ever before me, there is no space for fear to keep me up at night. I remember that because the Lord is my safety, I can sleep in peace.
There is a verse to this song that is often left out of recordings, but it is powerfully beautiful:
Be Thou my battle Shield, Sword for the fight
Be Thou my Dignity, Thou my Delight
Thou my soul’s Shelter, Thou my high Tow’r
Raise Thou my heav’nward, O Pow’r of my pow’r.
I have to remember that the enemy in my life is not the circumstances that threaten my physical wellbeing; it is the fear used by the Adversary to rob me of the faith I have the Lord. When I am overcome by fear, I am walking by sight, not by faith. I must remember that I am able to trust the Lord with my life and live in the freedom of a peace that passes understanding. Faith in the Almighty God is my battle shield, His Word is my sword, and He is the strong tower to which I run when my security is threatened. I am safe in the shadow of His wings; He is my soul’s shelter.
May these words encourage you as they have me during this time of uncertainty, for one thing is certain: our God is more powerful than anything on this earth, and we have no need to fear.
One who lives in the shelter of the Most High will stay in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust.” Surely he will rescue you from the fowler’s trap, from the destructive plague. With his feathers he will cover you, and under his wings you will find refuge. His truth will be your shield and armor. You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the plague that prowls in the darkness, nor the pestilence that destroys at noon.” (Psalm 91:1-6, CSB)