The Miraculous Aslan Painting

When we are in the midst of trials and suffering, it is vital we speak the truth to our souls.  On Thursday, March 4th, 2010, I’m on Midday Connection (you can listen live or to “past programs” beginning March 5th using the link on my homepage talking about this. This program includes an interview about heaven with Sara Groves, and we listen to great songs, including Be Still My Soul. I memorized this great hymn and sang it to my soul every night for a year or so after I had let go of the lie that Steve wasn’t coming back. We’re going to divide the truths of this song into three parts, having to do with God’s heart, God’s history, and God’s heaven. We’ll begin on this post with God’s heart.

How do we know that God is for us when we are facing enormous pain? In The God of All Comfort, and on Midday, I tell how the Lord spoke to us through my daughter Sally’s miraculous Aslan painting. There is a famous scene in The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe when the children discover that Aslan (a Christ figure) is not a man, but a lion. They ask,

“But if he’s a lion — can he be quite safe?”

Mr. Beaver says, “Safe! Whoever said anything about Aslan being safe? Don’t you know who he is? He is the son of the emperor beyond the sea — he’s the great lion. Of course he’s not safe. But he’s good.”

Watch the video on this post and Sally will tell you how God spoke to her that even though many times God allows suffering in our lives, we can still know, that his heart is for us.

I am so blessed to have the original of this painting — it is five feet tall and four feet wide — and hangs in my living room, bringing me comfort.  Sally completed it just days before Steve was diagnosed with cancer.

Here are questions to ponder:

1. Comment on the video and what happened.

2. Meditate on the passage Sally quoted in Revelation 5:5-6. What does this passage say? What symbolism do you see in each animal described as far as knowing the character of God?

3. Write out and memorize the first verse of Be Still My Soul.  What do you learn about God’s heart for you? Can you find scriptural parallels to the truth in these verses?

4. Do a little homework on the history of Be Still My Soul. It also is a hymn that became linked with Eric Liddell, who’s story was made famous by Chariots of Fire. He became a missionary after that and died of a brain tumor in a concentration camp. See if you can find out some ways Be Still My Soul was linked with him.

5. How does the music compliment the lyrics in Be Still My Soul? As you listen to it, learn it, sing it to yourself — what impact does it have on you in your present circumstances?

6. Why do you think the enemy wants us to believe that God is not for us? Has the enemy gotten to you?

7. Listen to Midday. What stood out to you?

Lord, I pray for those listening to Midday, for those doing this study, for your children in pain, that You will show them Your heart, that You will defeat the enemy’s lie that You do not love them. Help us press into You and experience You. I ask this in Your name.

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Question #2: Revelation 5:5-6 says, “And one of the elders said to me, “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.” And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth.”

Matthew Henry says, “He is a lion to conquer Satan, a lamb to satisfy the justice of God.”

In my daily reading I’m in the book of Numbers. I’m continually struck with the fact that God is a just God. He demands perfect obedience from His chosen people, the Israelites. Knowing they can’t be perfect, He makes provision for their forgiveness by establishing all sorts of detailed sacrifices to atone for their sins. Many of these sacrifices require slaying a lamb; a perfectly innocent, white little lamb. In Old Testament times, they had to perform these sacrifices over & over to attempt to satisfy God.

I know just how far I am every day from the perfection that God demands, and I’m thankful that He sent His Son as the PERFECT SACRIFICE for my sins! All I’m required to do is look to HIM, count on HIM to make me clean before God.

As I draw closer to the “Lion of the tribe Judah,” and the slain lamb,” my many sins and fears melt away.

I think the mention of Jesus as a lion in v.5 and a lamb in v.6 shows how Jesus is all things to all people.

As I read this over, it seems that I’m not being very clear. I guess I just don’t know how to say what I’m trying to say! Here is my all-time favorite version of “Be Still my Soul” done here by Selah. I especially am blessed by how it ends with “What a Friend we Have in Jesus.:

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      Yes thank you Marlys for sharing your thoughts! and this version of Be Still My Soul has now become one of my “favorites” too!

        Just posted your song link on Facebook. It was so lovely to listen to just now while I made my morning hot chocolate at the stove.

        I like what Dee said on Midday Connection about how the first line dispels Satan’s lie that God is not on our side.

        Showed the Aslan painting/video to my family this weekend. I also see two other lion faces behind Aslan. Does anyone else?

        Gloris

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Just watched the video with your beautiful (inside and out) daughter, Sally. I watched it a couple of times. I cried while I watched. So amazing that Sally never intended the image of the lamb to be in the painting, but that the Lord brought it out through the artistic gifts He has given to her. And that the lady at church saw the lamb there.

To sit and ponder the nature of who Jesus is, both the Lion and the Lamb, is enough food for thought to last me the rest of my life.

Yes, the Lamb reminds me that God’s justice was satisfied as Jesus became the sacrificial Lamb for my sin, but to me it must also speak of the tenderness of Jesus. A Jesus who wept for his friend Lazarus and I believe also wept for the horrible consequence of sin on all of humanity, the suffering and death it brought. Is what He revealed in Sally’s painting God’s way of telling Dee’s family that in their pain, His heart was for them? I believe so. I can’t handle emotionally the way my nephew died if I don’t see God’s heart as good and knowing by experience the taste of grief and suffering Himself.

I have a prayer request for my niece. She has been having health problems, mainly digestive in nature, due to the stress and emotional pain of losing her dad and brother. She is the one who found her brother dead, in their home. Yesterday she was in the emergency room with alot of abdominal pain and was also passing blood. A CT scan showed everything looked normal, yet the doctor believes it is the toll of her internalizing all of this pain and stress. She has been going to college and working part time and doing her best to keep going, but she is only 20 and the tragic way she lost her brother and what she witnessed through her dad’s addictions and his unexpected death two years ago has been very hard on her. Her name is Julie. Please pray for God, who longs to comfort her and draw her close, to speak His truth into her heart and to draw her to Himself. She so needs His healing.

    Lord, I do lift up Julie to you — that You might comfort her, speak truth to her, and heal her. Thank you for her Aunt Susan.
    In Jesus Name

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    Lord, I pray for this dear one, that you would disclose the problem to the right people and then bring the help she needs. Calm and heal her body, mind and spirit. Help her to look to you for all the answers. Bring her to our remembrance and help us to lift her and her mother and family up to you.

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    Dear Lord, I ask that you be with Julie as she deals with all the tragedy in her young life. Even today, Lord, send someone into her life right there on campus to encourage her and point her to You. Help her to know You are a Father to the fatherless, and that You will never leave her or forsake her. In the mighty name of Jesus. Amen

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Dee, I thank you and Sally for sharing such a beautiful testimony and painting. What a blessing to have hanging in your home to enjoy.
I love that Sally didn’t give up when she felt the painting was incomplete. She was able to capture that the lion wasn’t safe but couldn’t seem to capture that he was good. Instead of giving up she trusted the Lord with it then later saw that the Lord had a surprise waiting for her, the slain lamb, showing the goodness of God, was hiding in the mane! It reminds me that God can be trusted. Our pastor, Mike, recently commented that the church today wants to talk about God’s goodness and bypass the fear of God. He is a lamb but he is not safe!
When I viewed Selah’s version of Be still my soul, the words “leave to the Lord to order and provide” I nearly burst into tears of joy, the first since my husband got laid off Monday. The Lord ministered peace to my soul and reminded me that the son of the great emporer beyond the sea is my provider, not my husband, not IBM, not my savings, but the great lion! I find it interesting too the difference in the billowy waves of past trials and the waves I experienced on Monday, since studying your book. I find the waves comforting somehow. Maybe because I now embrace them instead of fighting them and I know that my deep fears call to God’s deep reserve and am no longer afraid. Praise the Lord!

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I am so blessed by Sally’s faithfulness to the Lord, and the breath-taking peice of art that came out of that obedience! I’ve put a copy as my computer desktop so I can be blessed by it over & over as I work. Isn’t it just like God to give us such a poignant visual of Jesus as seen in Revelation 5: 5-6. Thank you so much for sharing!

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Thank you so much for your prayers for Julie. It is comforting to think how her name is being lifted up to God and He hears. I so appreciate this fellowship with all of you!

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Question #4: The words to “Be Still, My Soul” was written in German by Katharina von Schlegel in 1752 and translated into English by Jane Borthwick in 1855. The tune was composed by Jean Sibelius. Usually, we only see 3 verses in hymnals, but I found 5 verses on this site: http://www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/b/e/bestill.htm

Eric Liddell taught this hymn to fellow-prisoners in the Japanese prison camp during World War II. I read some first-hand accounts of people who were encouraged to lean on God in those awful conditions because of Mr. Liddell teaching them this hymn.

Notice the phrases that this hymn employs:

“the cross of grief or pain”
“in every change”
“through thorny ways”
“all now mysterious”
“the waves and winds”
“when dearest friends depart”
“all is darkened in the vale of tears”
“your sorrow and your fears”
“all He takes away”
“disappointment, grief and fear…sorrow”
“change and tears”
“passing clouds”

This hymn, like this psalm, is written for people for whom life hurts, who are restless, changing and uncertain, for whom the sky is dark, the wind is strong, and the path is hard and lonely. This hymn is written for people who are disappointed, grieved, afraid and sad. That is what much of life is like. And, it is important that we sing honest songs that address us in these times. (taken from this site:
http://www.northbrookbc.org/sermons/090823am.html)

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6. Why do you think the enemy wants us to believe that God is not for us? Has the enemy gotten to you?

I think the enemy wants us to believe that we are too sinful for God to love and in that “knowledge” we will turn away from God and try to make it on our own. I know this has happened in my own life, and for a while I fell into that pattern. I had not stopped believing in the mercy of God but had stopped living in its truth and reminding my soul of God’s welcoming arms.

Sometimes it is easy to overlook how God is both unsafe and good. We get scared looking at the unsafe side or complacent when viewing only the good. In order to speak the truth to our souls, we must see both lion and lamb, just like the images in Sally’s painting.

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    Tracy, I like it that you brought up how we have a tendency to see God one way of the other. That has messed me up at times, too. Either I shrink away from Him because He seems harsh (unsafe), or take His hand in my life for granted. Like you said, both views are lopsided.

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    Beautifully said, Tracy.

Last night we received a tremendous testimony from Adele on our last post, Letting Go of The Lies. I’d encourage you each to read it and pray for her!

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I LOVED YOUR DAUGHTER VIDEO ON HER ASLAN PAINITING. I’M A PAINTER TOO. I LOVE THE WAY THAT GOD TAKES CONTROL WHILE YOU ARE PAINTING TO BRING GLORY TO HIM. SHE IS A GREAT ARTIST!
I JUST FOUND LAST MONTH THAT MY MOM HAS CANCER. IT IS REALLY HARD!
I LOVE YOUR BLOG!
GOD BLESS
CARRIE

    Thank you Carrie. Yes — that is hard news. I hate cancer.
    Praying for you both.

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    Sorry to hear about your Mom! I’m praying that God gives you and your family strength and comfort during this hard time!

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I just finished listening to March 4th Midday Connection. The interview with Sara Groves got me to thinking. She said that when her Grandfather died, her Grandmother made a comment about wondering about Heaven. Sara said in the interview that as a young girl she was shocked that her Grandmother wasn’t remembering all she had taught Sara about God, heaven etc.

It has been my experience that one of the outcomes of sorrow in my life is to turn “theories” into “realities.” It’s one thing to know ABOUT God, His grace, His comfort, His ways. But it’s quite another to be in the middle of great sorrow and experience them first hand.

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As you listen to Be Still My Soul, see if you can identify three themes in the opening three verses:
1 Heart — what can you tell your soul about God’s heart from verse 1?
2 History — what can you tell your soul about God’s history from verse 2?
3 Heaven — what can you tell your soul about God’s heaven from verse 3?

Did anyone find anything out about the connection between Eric Liddell and Be Still My Soul?

Missing some of our good Bible students and researchers!

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When Eric Liddell (a Scot who was born in China) was a missionary in China, China was in turmoil due both to civil factions and to an invasion by Japan. Due to the danger in China, Liddell sent his wife and China back to Canada. Aware of the danger, he continued working in Tianjin. In March 1943, all “enemy nationals” were taken to a Japanese prison camp in Weihsien, 400 miles away. The camp was formerly the American Presbyterian mission campus with what was said to be the best hospital in northern China.

As a prisoner, Liddell continued teaching as he was given the jobs of teaching and organizing youth sports. Some of the children in the concentration camp were children of missionaries of the China Inland Mission; they were at the Chefoo school and hadn’t seen their parents for several years due to the unrest in China. (Liddell was with another missionary society.) Liddell also taught the children/youth “Be Still My Soul” which was said to be his favorite hymn.

Liddell’s work at the camp was slowed as he experienced symptoms of a brain tumor.

Norman Cliff, a student at the Chefoo school, was 18 when he got to the prison camp, met Liddell teaching Sunday School at the prison camp. He wrote the following,

“A Salvation Army officer, Fred Buist, kindly taught me how to play the trombone, and I became a 2nd trombonist in the Salvation Army Band, which in Weihsien had become an “ecumenical” group. Every Sunday afternoon we played hymns and marches at various points in the camp under the baton of Brigadier Stranks.

It was in February, 1945, (which was to be five months before the end of the war) that we were playing outside the camp hospital. The nurse on duty passed a note out of the window ‘Eric Liddell would like you to play Finlandia’.”

Finlandia is the tune to which “Be still my soul” is frequently sung. Liddell died the week after Finlandia was played outside the hospital (the hospital had been looted — so most likely, it was no longer the best hospital around). The author of the info on one of the websites indicated that Liddell was able to draw strength from his favorite hymn at one of his darkest times.

The info above is (mostly) from two websites: http://www.weihsien-paintings.org/ (created with the help of survivors of Weihsien “most of whom were children during World War II — of Weihsien Concentration Camp in Shantung Province, China”) and http://www.ericliddell.org/

If I find any more about how the hymn became Liddell’s favorite, I’ll post it. To give a sense of time: Liddell was in the Olympics in the early 1920s and died at age 54 (if I remember right!).

    You add so much to this blog with your research, Renee. Thank you.

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I enjoyed learning about Mr. Liddell: He gave God the glory for the ability to run and said he felt God’s pleasure with him whenever he ran. He took comfort in singing to his soul, like we are learning to do and taught his fellow prisoners to do the same. He cared more what God thought of him than an entire country. How often do I feel the pleasure of God on me? A powerful thought.

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1 Heart — what can you tell your soul about God’s heart from verse 1?

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

What stands out to me is how God is ever present in our grief and pain. He will supply for our needs while we weather the traumas of life and shows Himself to truly be our best friend.

When I think of an earthly best friend, I think of someone in whom I can confide anything without the fear of judgment. She (or he) will stand faithful in hard times and rejoice in the good things too. Tonight I am waiting to call my earthly best friend as soon as she is home from work. We often talk on weekends and this is a blessing to me. I am always excited and blessed to talk to her!

I will tell my soul that God is the Ultimate Best Friend. Nothing is too trivial for Him; He wants to share it all. He, like an earthly friend, wants to share it all. He is excited to talk to me, just like I can’t wait to call my friend.

2 History — what can you tell your soul about God’s history from verse 2?

Be still, my soul: your God will undertake
to guide the future, as in ages past.
Your hope, your confidence let nothing shake;
all now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know
the Christ who ruled them while he dwelt below.

God’s history is that of always being my guide, my hope and confidence. I am reminded that Christ had mastery over chaos (waves and winds) even when He was on earth, bound to the limitations of a human body. How much more does He calm that chaos now that He is seated in Heaven in all His glory!!

3 Heaven — what can you tell your soul about God’s heaven from verse 3?

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 for forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past,
all safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

God’s heaven is where all wrongs will be righted and the best joyful things will be made eternal. We will be reunited with loved ones and no longer victim to change and tears, sorrows, fears, disappointments, grief, etc. I like how this stanza names so many emotions (disappointment, grief, fear, sorrow, change, tears) and is specific about what Christ will wipe away from our existence. He has conquered death and sin but also will free us from other hurtful things. And He will provide everlasting safety and a continual state of grace. Heaven is my heart’s deepest longings.

(I love what the book says about Heaven… our best places on earth being part of the new heaven. Now I have assurance that there will be snow in heaven! :-)

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    and art and literature and science and food but no sea…I wonder why no sea? I wonder about actual places like where we grew up, and favorite secret places(because some involved the ocean), and beloved pets.

    Tracy, which book about heaven are you referring to?

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      I’m referring to what Dee wrote in “The God Of All Comfort”.

    I’ll bet you were an A student, Tracy. Kind a teacher loves who really looks at the questions. Thank you.

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Dee, thank you for your prayer that we would be able to trust in God’s love for us. I have been dealing with this today and when I came on the blog and read that it meant a great deal to me.

I think the enemy wants us to believe that God does not love us because without His love we will not be able to persevere. He wants to stop us from praying, reading the word, doing Bible studies and most of all praising God. I did not realize until today just how motivating His love is. So in dry times we must speak to our hearts and remember.

On Eric Liddell I found that he taught Be Still My Soul to his students in the camp. Shortly before he died when he was in the hospital, he asked the band in the camp to play it though he called it Finlandia. The man remembering him said that he seemed to struggle with fear and loneliness as he became weak, though his history had been optimism and peacemaking. I am sure he suffered much pain. He may or may not have known what was wrong but either way it must have been frightening. He would need to speak peace to his soul.

5. I just spent an hour listening to several versions of Be Still My Soul – female voices, male voices, choirs, orchestras. The haunting melody has a sadness, a longing for inner peace. Yet it is majestic in the rising and falling, the strength and the fragility. Like the lion and the lamb, the tune is filled with contrast. It surges like a lion, powerfully challenging my soul to stillness with strong one syllable words, then replies like a lamb, with soft lilting multi-syllabic phrases. Listening to this song, I feel wrapped in Love. My breathing slows, I feel pulled inside, deeper, quieter, peaceful. This will be my music in the night.

WHAT A SABBATH BLESSING — TO WAKE UP TO SUCH RICH RICH SHARING!

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#6. Why do you think the enemy wants us to believe God is not for us?

I’ve been reading through the book of Genesis. When the serpent questioned Eve about the fruit that God did not want them to eat, he sowed seeds of doubt in her mind. He said to her, “You will not surely die, for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God…”
It was like he was saying, God is holding out on you, He lied to you.

Anne wrote that if the enemy can get us to believe God doesn’t love us, then we will not be able to persevere. We will stop praying.

I often battle this lie, that somehow, God is not for me, that He has abandoned me or cannot forgive me. And then I do feel cut off and alone. I will listen to Christian radio, read the Bible, but will avoid talking to God. It’s the feeling of always being on the outside, looking in. Not quite included. That’s why I love the verse, Ephesians 1:13:

And you also were INCLUDED in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit.

Why does the enemy want me to believe this lie? Because he wants to destroy me and cut me off from God. When a predator, like a lion, say, is trying to hunt and kill its prey, it will try to cut one animal out of the safety of the herd. The enemy cannot steal my saved soul from God, but he can try to make me live a miserable, shipwrecked life on this earth, never secure in my relationship with God.

Yes, the enemy has “gotten” to me alot of times. But how do we know if it is the enemy attacking us or if it is sin on our part by continuing to doubt God and not trust Him? I had a Bible study teacher who taught us that to continue to doubt God could be sin.

    Susan, thanks for that verse. My friend’s daughter (her name’s Catherine) visited Ireland once with a team from Taylor University.

    At one point on the trip the leader asked the students to draw a circle on a paper he handed out, representing the “inner circle” of friendship within their group, the “in-crowd”.

    Then he instructed them to place dots in or around the circle to represent themselves and the others in the group — were they “in” or “out.”

    Catherine said pretty much everyone, including herself, put their dots outside the circle and all the others in. Even the ones that Catherine put dead center in the circle, thinking they were the most popular, perceived themselves to be an “outside dot.”

    Nice to be reminded that we’re ALL inside dots with God. We ARE the “in-crowd”, dead-center, smack in the middle of His heart. W’re included! :)

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      Thank you for helping me to “connect the dots” as in my relationship with God through Christ!

    I know it can be difficult to discern if the enemy is behind things, but I think he often is during hard times, for he likes to come when we are facing adversity. It does seem the solution is the same — whether it is the enemy or our own lack of faith — we must speak God’s truth to our fretful souls.

    Good thoughts Susan.

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This morning I am thinking more about God’s love because I think He really spoke to me yesterday. How could I possibly doubt His love? This may have been said already and I just missed it. I think it is some head knowledge I learned in the past (possibly the Hosea study)that made the 12 inch journey this morning. His love is not just seen in the lamb and His sacrifice but also in the lion because it is fierce and ravaging. It is like the bush that burned and was not consumed, like the billows washing over me but not drowning me. There is a popular song that describes His love as the hurricane and I as the tree.

May our worship bless Him this morning.

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Susan, I would like to address your question, “But how do we know if it is the enemy attacking us or if it is sin on our part by continuing to doubt God and not trust Him?” I might be reading something into this question that isn’t there. If I am please forgive my ramblings!

I, too, used to think there was a difference between when Satan was attacking me or I was sinning and causing my doubts myself. Lately I’ve come to realize that there is no difference, really. It’s an attack from Satan either way, and God responds the same way to both. We aren’t accepted by God, protected by God and loved by God only when/if we aren’t sinning. He sees us through the blood of Jesus no matter what.

Oh, sure, we might suffer consequences for our sin. He doesn’t always stop that from happening. But He says, “I will never leave you or forsake you,” (Hebrews 13:5) and He MEANS it! Our life is “now hidden with Christ in God.” (Collosians 3:3)

For me, the key to getting a handle on my doubts has been a steady “diet” of Scripture reading and prayer. It helps me keep the TRUTH in the front of my mind.

I’m praying for you!

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    This is so beautiful and uplifting for my soul. Thank you and God bless you!

The enemy is always stalking us … waiting and watching for an opening. If I get a little hurt going, a doubt demon may take up residence. I sweep away that doubt with song and prayer and then find myself looking around my clean “house” with a great deal of self-satisfaction in how effective that song and prayer was and how lovely my clean house is. Then WHOOSH, in come seven new demons (Pride and his nasty cousins) to fill my nice clean space. If only I could fill my clean-swept house with Christ before I congratulate myself on my effective praying, those little demons would have to move on to someone else! :-)

I have a mobile hanging in my bay window made of mirror-covered balls of various sizes. About 9 a.m. the sun is in the right place to reflect little bits of light all over the room. When the furnace kicks in, the mirrored balls move just enough that the hundreds of little bits of light dance across the walls and the ceiling. Three grandchildren spent the night at the farm with us this weekend and they all gathered in amazement this morning in the midst of the dancing lights. I told them those were all the guardian angels that are always around them, protecting them from the bad spirits that you can’t see because they are dull and dark, rather than sparkling and light. I don’t know if that made an impression on them, but it certainly did on me! (Oops…there’s that Pride again!)

Anyway, just as Satan left Jesus in the desert saying he would return at a more opportune time, he waits for the right time with us. As we are the Body of Christ, and a much easier target than Jesus, this most certainly is an opportune time! How wonderful that we have the Lion of Judah, the Rock of Ages, the Good Shepherd who goes out searching for the little lost lamb! Thank you God for loving us that much!

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#5 I love Be Still My Soul, one of my favorite hymns. The third verse reads,
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 for forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past,
all safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

A dear friend lost her husband and best friend, tonight. He stepped into glory to end his days of suffering. She faces a life of change, tears, grief, but I pray that God’s comfort will envelope her tonight. Silence permeates the house rather than the sound of oxygen. May she sleep with heaven’s music in her ears, knowing he is forever with his Lord.

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3. Write out and memorize the first verse of Be Still My Soul. What do you learn about God’s heart for you? Can you find scriptural parallels to the truth in these verses?

Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side.
Hebrews 13:5 (NIV)
5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
Romans 8:18 (NIV)
18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.

Leave to thy God to order and provide;
Matthew 6:33-34 (NIV)
33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

In every change, He faithful will remain.
Lamentations 3:21-23 (NIV)
21 Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope:
22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heavenly Friend
Psalm 46:10 (NIV)
10 “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.
1 Peter 5:10 (NASB)
10 After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.

God’s amazing heart…He provides all that I need, through grief or pain, through changes, through thorny ways…He Himself, the God of all grace, will perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish me.
Thank you Lord. You are so trustworthy!!

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Quick note: The poem “Be Still My Soul” wasn’t paired with Finlandia until 1927; thus, Eric Liddell wouldn’t have grown up with it (or at least not singing it to the Finlandia tune). He would have first sung it to Finlandia some time after he was in the Olympics. I wonder what hymns he liked when he was in the Olympics?? :)

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Before I post I’m going to lament the fact that I worked for almost two hours posting my answers to all the questions and when I clicked submit it didn’t go through. I had lost internet connection. So I’m going to begin again. I have to be somewhere in an hour (only 2 blocks away) so I’ll do what I can and finish tomorrow.

1.Sally’s comment-’she left Aslan to the Lord’s direction’-really resonated with me. The Lord knew Sally’s heart desire was to glorify Him. As He completed the painting through her, He kept a ‘veil’ over her eyes until He wanted to reveal to her the picture she had in mind.

2. Revelation 5:5-6 says: Jesus Christ, who conquerored death by rising from the grave, is qualified to open the scroll (possibly Daniel’s scroll in Daniel 12:9). As the slain Passover Lamb, Jesus Christ is qualified to open the seven seals of judgment (Rev 6:1). Jesus possesses complete power, strength, and the authority to rule. Jesus possesses complete wisdom.

In the Lion I see God’s righteous anger, wisdom, wrath, truth, faithfulness, and jealousy. In the Lamb I see God’s holiness, righteousness, fairness, love, goodness, mercy, and tenderness.

3. I learned from verse 1 of Be Still My Soul that when my heart aches God’s heart aches. He yearns to right the wrongs done against me. He will never leave me.

Scripture parallels:
Line 1a Jeremiah 47:6
Line 1b Psalm 118:6
Line 2 Colossians 1:20; Luke 9:23
Line 3 Psalm 23:5; Isaiah 61:2-3
Line 4 Joshua 1:5
Line 5 Psalm 46:10; Proverb 17:17; Ephesians 1:6
Line 6 2 Corinthians 1:4

    Great answers, Tammy.

    I do feel sympathy for computer losses – oh! I have to admit though it also made me smile to read you were going to lament this. We have a new word in our vocabulary and when we hear it from others, in whatever scenario, we must remember to “sit shiva” and give consolation. So I do, dear Tammy. It is hard to do all the work and have it disappear! Frustration.

We’ll move on to the next chapter tomorrow with a new post — so if you have any last thoughts on Be Still My Soul or Aslan or the opening questions, today is the day they will most likely get read by others. So Tammy — we want to hear what you lost!

Love to each of you

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Here’s my original answer for question 2.
What does Rev 5:5-6 say?

Jesus Christ:
the only priest to come from another tribe Heb 7:14
the Seed of the woman promised in Gen 3:15
this Seed sprang from the line of King David Is 11:1
the Root now raised high, posted as a rallying banner for the peoples.Is 11:10
the one who conquerored death by rising from the grave Mt 28:6
is qualified to open the scroll Daniel 12:9.
Only as the slain Passover Lamb, who came to take away the sins of the world,is he qualified to open the seven seals of judgment Rev 6:1.
Jesus alone possesses the complete power, strength, and the authority to rule (symbolized by seven horns-seven stands for completion-horn represents authority)
Jesus alone possesses complete wisdom (eyes represent wisdom)

I formulated this answer by reading the cross reference verses and study notes in my Bible. Computers are great but I write down my answers on paper so I can remember what I want to share.

4. Be Still My Soul written by Katharina Amalia Dorothea von Schlegel.
she was born in 1697 and died around 1768. German Lutheran who was influenced by the pietistic revival. She may have been the canoness of an evangelical women’s seminary in Germany. Her surname may indicate that she was a court lady in the household of the Duke of Kothen.
In 1752, near the end of her life, she contributed at least 20 hymns to a collection of songs. Orginial text was published in 1752 as “Stille Meine Wille, Dein Jesus Hilft Siegen. It was published in 1855 in Hymns from the Land of Luther.

Connection to Eric Liddell
One source stated that Be Still My Soul fueled his athletic training and eventual career as a missionary. In the prison camp Liddell emphasized that surrender to God was the secret to his peace.

5. The music to the first verse seems heavy to me. Its as if the music is carrying the burden of the grief. In my present circumstance I sing it aloud when I get frustrated with waiting for change.

6. I think the enemy wants us to believe that God is not for us so he can keep us in despair and keep God from getting the praise due Him for carrying us through our circumstances.

Yes the enemy recently got to me. One Sunday night I had had enough of waiting for change and I went to the altar and, like Job, poured out my complaint. The next day the Lord answered me in a sermon based on Psalm 23. This is what He said to me through the words of Dr. Tony Evans: “Stop whining. It won’t change God’s timing. Lie down. Rest. Think only about God.” After I heard those words I realized this blog was the “green pastures” and “still waters” my Shepherd had led me to.

7. As I listened to Midday God healed a deep,deep wound from my childhood. I first met deception around the age of ten. I discovered my birth certificate in a family trunk and learned that the man I called Daddy was not my biological father. Although he gave me his name he never formally adopted me and to this day does not consider me as his daughter. I had never heard of attachment disorder. I have been struggling for a while to fully trust God to bring me out of this difficult season of my life. Now I understand why. I see now that the enemy has been trying to convince me that God is not going to keep His promises. The enemy knows how to play on our past wounds-even those that are buried so deep we don’t know they are there until God brings them to the surface as we can handle the truth.

I want to add that I am finding the study guide to be a great supplement to the blog. My time there is greatly enriched. Okay here goes. I hope all this soars through cyberspace.

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    Tammy, it went through…and blessed me greatly! Your observations, honesty and willingness to share are a good example to the rest of us. Keep up the good work!

      I agree with Marlys. You are so winsome, Tammy. Thanks for sharing so richly and not giving up. So glad that you are seeing through the deception of the enemy.

      That’s where we are headed on the next post with A Mighty Fortress!

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Forgot to share my Luther quote. It corresponds with question 6.
Thanks Marlys for the encouragement. I don’t tell all of you often enough how I enjoy your posts and appreciate your encouraging words.
Thanks for ‘sitting shiva’ with me Dee.

“See to it that you fasten your attention on God’s Word and STAY in it,
like an infant in a cradle. If you let go for one moment, you have falen away from the truth. The one intention of the devil is to get people away from the Word and to induce them to measure God’s will and works with their reason.” Martin Luther

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    Wow! I’m going to copy that quote and use if often!

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I am still being blessed by and enjoying the richness of Psalm 42, coupled with the hymn The Deep Deep Love of Jesus. I have learned that we must keep talking, to our souls, to God. To question my soul, “Why are you downcast?” To tell God about it, “Oh God, my soul is downcast within me”. To speak the truth to my soul through these great hymns and God’s Word, yes, to speak it, to sing it, OUT LOUD! Perhaps this makes the enemy turn tail and flee!

I keep going back to verses 7 and 8 in Psalm 42.
As “deep calls to deep…”
and then,
“All Thy breakers and Thy waves have rolled over me”,
that, at least in my view, this “water picture” pictures a rescue from God; I may be in despair and drowning in grief or sorrow, but God opens the floodgates of His love and it washes over me, rolls over me.
Then, going on to verse 8, the Lord commands His love in the daytime and His song is with me in the night.

Kim T. posted on this blog that she was finding a difference in the billowy waves of past trials and the ones she was experiencing now.
She said that she finds the waves comforting somehow. That is how I am seeing verse 7 of Psalm 42 now. Those breakers and waves are somehow comforting.

And to Marlys, thank you for answering my question about is it an attack from the enemy or my own sin in doubting. You are right, God’s response is the same. And that we still have God’s love and acceptance even in our sin, because of Christ. I think I get stuck in the “performance” thing, that somehow if I am doing all the right things, God is pleased with me, and if I mess up, then, I am on the outside again. I mean, I know that when I sin, I need to ask for forgiveness and that sin can cause me to feel a distance from God, but it is not because He has moved away, it was my sin moving me away from Him.

I once took a Bible study on marriage and being a wife. We were given a several page list, of how we were doing on being a wife, on our own spiritual life with God, etc…, and we were to mark as either “sin” or “displeasing to God” the areas where we were not living up to God’s ideal. An example would be, “Is my husband my number one priority after God”. If yes, okay, if no, then you marked it as either sin or displeasing God. Well, I had, I think, 82 items marked on this list of areas where I was not doing well! Our goal was that by the end of the class, we would be able to erase these things we had marked.
However, for me, it became that every time I opened my Bible or tried to pray or do my lesson, there were those 82 items glaring at me, and I thought, “where do I even start?” and it became so overwhelming that I felt like giving up altogether. I began to feel like I couldn’t talk to God (and have Him listen to me) until I took care of those 82 things! I felt like a mouse on that wheel; running, running, but getting nowhere.

It is hard work, for me, to get rid of that kind of thinking. The truth is, I can’t get rid of my sin by myself. I need God’s help!
It is hard to really grasp the unconditional nature of the love of God.
But hymns like The Deep Deep Love of Jesus, and Be Still My Soul, have the truth in them.

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Question #3. Can you find scriptural parallels to the truths in these verses (of Be Still My Soul)?

Be still my soul the Lord is on your side.
Romans 8:31-39, notably:
If God is for us, who can be against us? He Who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all. (vv. 31-32)
Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? (v.33)
Christ Jesus, Who died, more than that, Who was raised to life – is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. (v. 34)
And the rest of the passage about how nothing or no one will separate us from the love of Christ.

Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
James 1:12
Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him.

Leave to Thy God to order and provide.
1 Corinthians 14:33
For God is not a God of disorder but of peace.

In every change, He faithful will remain.
Hebrews 13:8
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Be Still my soul, thy best, thy heavenly Friend
John 15:13
Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. (Jesus did this for us!)

Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.
Isaiah 43:2
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.
1Peter 1:4
…and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade – kept in heaven for you.

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