Abide with Me (ELW 629, focus on verse 1)
1 Abide with me, fast falls the eventide.
The darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
help of the helpless, oh, abide with me.
2 Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
earth’s joys grow dim, its glories pass away;
change and decay in all around I see;
O thou who changest not, abide with me.
3 I need thy presence ev’ry passing hour;
what but thy grace can foil the tempter’s pow’r?
Who like thyself my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, oh, abide with me.
4 I fear no foe, with thee at hand to bless;
ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness.
Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if thou abide with me!
5 Hold thou thy cross before my closing eyes,
shine through the gloom, and point me to the skies;
heav’n’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee;
in life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.
God is our abode, our dwelling place. God abides with us through difficult or dark times.
A hired hand was once applying to work for a farmer. To every question about his skill level, he would reply, “I sleep well at night.” The farmer thought his responses to be a little slow, but decided to hire him anyway.
Soon one night a great storm arose, and the farmer leapt from bed and called for his hired hand to help. When he could not rouse him, he went out himself, only to find that everything was already sheltered and tied down. The farmer then understood the worker’s comment, “I sleep well at night.” He slept because he had done everything needed in case of a storm. From then on, the farmer also slept well at night.
God provides Godself as a home in which to abide. God never sleeps, but we can sleep well, even as darkness deepens, because God has done it all for us. Nothing can snatch us out of God’s abode of living water and blessedness.
“Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep. Guide me safely through the night and wake me with the morning light.” Amen.