Friday, September 6, 2013

O God, Our Help in Ages Past (Strength in Hymn)

O God, Our Help in Ages Past
by Isaac Watts

O God, our help in ages past,
our hope for years to come,
our shelter from the stormy blast,
and our eternal home.

Under the shadow of thy throne,
still may we dwell secure;
sufficient is thine arm alone,
and our defense is sure.
Before the hills in order stood,
or earth received her frame,
from everlasting, thou art God,
to endless years the same.

A thousand ages, in thy sight,
are like an evening gone;
short as the watch that ends the night,
before the rising sun.

Time, like an ever rolling stream,
bears all who breathe away;
they fly forgotten, as a dream
dies at the opening day.

O God, our help in ages past,
our hope for years to come;
be thou our guide while life shall last,
and our eternal home.

At Lake Monroe, the skies are blue, but a storm is coming.  As I walk over to the marina, I see darkening clouds and the breeze picks up.  Moments later, the thunder rolls and the wind whips the palm trees.  I keep walking.  The waves crash against the sea wall and the sailboat bells clang furiously. I see lightning in the distance. The rain pelts the windows of my van when I pull away from the Veteran's Memorial park.  As I drive home, it's a full storm and the puddles splash up so intensely onto my windshield that I cannot see at all.  I steadily apply my brakes and hope I don't hydroplane, spin, or hit anything.  Fortunately, I don't, but my adrenaline pumps hard.  Nearing home, I run into the grocery store for just a few things, but looking out the window at the lightning and seeing the long line at the check out, I realize I had better go pick up my teenage son at the school bus stop instead.  It is just too fierce for walking out there.  I leave my groceries at the store, and rush to my own neighborhood just in time.  As my son dashes toward the van, the lightning splits the sky.  I think, "My van is a shelter in the stormy blast!"  I drop him off at home, then drive over to the elementary school to pick up my two youngest, then back to the store for my groceries, and to another bus stop for another child.   It's a stormy day, but soon I am safe and dry inside my own house with my children around me.   Young friends are coming over for the evening and life is good.

Yes, there are times when life itself seems so stormy for us.  Dark clouds, rain, wind, thunder, lightning.  Anxiety, sadness, anger, frustration, fear.  Yet God is with us in the midst of it.  He is our help and our hope.  He is our shepherd and our shelter, and the storm will pass.

Virginia Knowles


  1. Stunning photos and such a beautiful post! I'm visiting from Still Saturday. Nice to "meet" you!

  2. Beautiful photos for one of my favorite hymns. Have a lovely weekend, Virginia. God is always good.