Happy the home when God is there,
And love fills every breast;
When one their wish, and one their prayer,
And one their heav’nly rest.
Happy the home where Jesus’ Name
Is sweet to every ear;
Where children early speak His fame,
And parents hold Him dear.
Happy the home where prayer is heard,
And praise each day does rise;
Where parents love the sacred Word
And all its wisdom prize.
Lord, let us in our homes agree
This blessèd peace to gain;
Unite our hearts in love to Thee,
And love to all will reign.
As I was finding the lyrics to this song to be almost gag-worthy this morning, I realized it was because that dream has had to die. It isn't that am bothered so much about where my life has ended up, but it has been a process of letting go of what I had always planned.
Our closing hymn was much more like our lives:
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,
You, who unto Jesus for refuge have fled?
Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid;
I’ll strengthen and 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 woe shall not thee overflow;
For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.
When through fiery trials thy pathways 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.
The soul that on Jesus has leaned for repose,
I will not, I will not desert to its foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake.
In comparing the two, I think I've concluded that while the first hymn describes something many of my friends were able to start with -- when their children were small -- very few people end up there when raising teens. The ones who do are fortunate. But I am content knowing that the things I have gone through have produced character in me that I might not have gained otherwise.
And my years as an adoptive parent of some very challenging kids have resulted in me knowing that my soul, this soul -- though all hell should endeavor to shake -- God has never, will never, no never forsake"