Hymns and spiritual songs are often developed through mediation and experience. When considering the assignment in Part I of this study, a memorable chapter that came to mind was that of Psalm forty six.
On March 5th 2010, my mom received some difficult news. Her doctor called on the Friday afternoon to tell her that her test results had returned and could now confirm that my mom had cancer. No other details could be provided that day, but that news was enough to know that things were not good. When my dad called us that evening, I thought he may have wanted to talk about our March break trip to Florida that had been planned for the following Monday. However, it was to inform us of the news. Later that night, when I had a chance to speak to my mom directly about the situation, I was extremely surprised by her attitude towards the situation. Instead of being overwhelmed by the circumstances, my mom was encouraged by her reading that morning (Psalm 46) which ended up helping her deal with the situation. The words of that Psalm not only helped my mom through the long battle ahead, but it also became a real source of strength for me as well.
With this story as the backdrop, I developed a simple hymn of two verses based on the truths of Psalm 46. Special thanks to Brandyn Berry for choosing an appropriate tune, David Ussher for constructing the last line of the second verse, and David Payne for his enthusiasm in completing the hymn.
God our refuge
God is our refuge and our strength
There is no need to fear
A present help in times of woe
He's always very near.
God is our safety and our guide
There is no greater friend
A rescuer for every trial
On whom we will depend.
Primary Tune: Amazing Grace
Secondary Tunes: Behold a Spotless Victim Dies ; Majestic Sweetness Sits Enthroned