Scripture Verse

Be still, and know that I am God.@Psalm 46:10

Introduction

Words: Ka­tha­ri­na A. von Schle­gel, in Neue Samm­lung Geist­lich­er Lied­er, 1752 (Stille, meine Wille, dein Je­sus hilft sie­en). Trans­lat­ed from Ger­man to Eng­lish by Jane L. Borth­wick in Hymns from the Land of Lu­ther, 1855.

Music: Fin­lan­dia Jean Si­be­li­us, 1899 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Alternate Tunes:

If you have ac­cess to a good pic­ture of von Schle­gel or Borth­wick (head-and-shoul­ders, at least 200×300 pix­els), would you send us an e-mail?

portrait
Jean Sibelius
(1865–1957)

Background

This hymn was a fav­o­rite of Er­ic Lid­dell, the ath­lete who be­came fa­mous in the 1924 Olym­pics for re­fus­ing to run on the Sab­bath (see the 1981 mo­vie Char­i­ots of Fire).

Liddell lat­er be­came a mis­sion­a­ry in Ch­ina, and was im­pris­oned dur­ing World War II. He is said to have taught this hymn to oth­ers in the pris­on camp (where he event­u­al­ly died of a brain tu­mor).

Lyrics

Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side.
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change, He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heavenly friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake
To guide the future, as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know
His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below.

Be still, my soul: when dearest friends depart,
And all is darkened in the vale of tears,
Then shalt thou better know His love, His heart,
Who comes to soothe thy sorrow and thy fears.
Be still, my soul: thy Jesus can repay
From His own fullness all He takes away.

Be still, my soul: the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord.
When disappointment, grief and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past
All safe and blessèd we shall meet at last.

Be still, my soul: begin the song of praise
On earth, believing, to Thy Lord on high;
Acknowledge Him in all thy words and ways,
So shall He view thee with a well pleased eye.
Be still, my soul: the sun of life divine
Through passing clouds
Shall but more brightly shine.