Sometimes a light surprises the Christian while he sings;
It is the Lord, Who rises with healing in His wings:
When comforts are declining, He grants the soul again
A season of clear shining, to cheer it after rain.
In holy contemplation we sweetly then pursue
The theme of God’s salvation, and find it ever new.
Set free from present sorrow, we cheerfully can say,
Let the unknown tomorrow bring with it what it may.
It can bring with it nothing but He will bear us through;
Who gives the lilies clothing will clothe His people, too;
Beneath the spreading heavens, no creature but is fed;
And He Who feeds the ravens will give His children bread.
Though vine nor fig tree neither their wonted fruit should bear,
Though all the field should wither, nor flocks nor herds be there;
Yet God the same abiding, His praise shall tune my voice,
For while in Him confiding, I cannot but rejoice.
This hymn on the “A Quiet Heart” CD from Soundforth was new to me, but it was written in 1779 by William Cowper. The Cyberhymnal site lists a few different MIDI portrayals of different tunes for it, but I love the lilting one from the CD — you can hear a 90 second snippet here (you have to scroll down the page a bit to see the song listings on the CD, then click on the link beside the title). One of our teen-age girls at church sang it last week as a solo and it had almost an Irish-sounding lilt to it.
I love all the Scriptural references and the joy and hope it portrays.