How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord…
I am drawn to the external practices of the Christian life more naturally than the internal ones. Engaging with the body of Christ, serving others, and building relationships come more naturally to me than solitude, extended study, and pursuing the inner life of a disciple. We are all drawn to one side or the other: the internal or the external. Building strength in the area we are weak is a challenge.
Journaling is an internal practice that has worked well for me. It helps me slow my mind down, clarify what is in my heart, and draw near to Jesus. The past few months, I have been writing out and meditating on the lyrics of “How Firm A Foundation” about once a week. It’s a hymn I have long known but had not previously connected with deeply. It has become a source of encouragement, regularly reminding me of the solid ground under my feet in Christ.
I have needed the reminder! Today is the three year anniversary of our move to Houston, and it has also been three months since Kaleo’s final worship service. For Jenny and I, it has been a season for enduring, persevering, and looking to bloom where we’re planted in the face of adversity. We have had to wait on the Lord in new ways, and that waiting continues. In “How Firm A Foundation,” the Lord points me to the certainty of belonging to the One who never deserts nor forsakes His own. I have been thankful for it in our uncertain time.
How Firm A Foundation
How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word!
What more can He say than to you He hath said,
To you who for refuge to Jesus have fled?
In every condition – in sickness, in health,
In poverty’s vale, or abounding in wealth,
At home or abroad, on the land, on the sea,
As thy days shall demand shall thy strength ever be.
Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed,
For I am thy God, and will still give thee aid;
I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by My righteous, omnipotent hand.
When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of sorrow shall not overflow;
For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.
When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,
My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply;
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine.
Even down to old age all My people shall prove
My sovereign, eternal, unchangeable love;
And when hoary hairs shall their temples adorn,
Like lambs they shall still in My bosom be borne.
The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose,
I will not, I will not desert to his foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no, never, no, never forsake!