Tuesday, August 6, 2019

We Rest On Thee

When I chose "rest" as my word of the year back in January I didn't know how much I would need rest.

Our summer has been recklessly busy. I love summer activities and our whole family is relishing the freedom of busy days and late nights. For the past two years our schedule was focused on caring for Ed. I didn't realize how much I tried to protect Ed from stress until I no longer had to. We miss Ed, but none of us miss cancer and the blight it put on our family.

But even though we are busy, I find that rest is possible. I can ache from pulling weeds, stay up late reading, scramble to get ready for an appointment, and still know rest.

It doesn't happen by default. I can't change much about my circumstances or my children or the current events. But I can choose my intake.  I can be intentional to listen to music that refreshes, read books that inspire, and spend time with people who encourage.

Rest isn't just a physical state of sleep or relaxation. One dictionary definition is "a peace of mind and spirit." I consider this kind of rest to be a gift from God and an answer to those of you who pray for us.

And it isn't just those of us who find ourselves in widowhood who need rest. I found an old post from a few years ago where I wrote about this same subject. Apparently I've been on a journey of learning to trust God and rest in Him for a long time.

On Sunday we sang a new-to-me hymn. I love the message of this hymn and all the names and attributes of God that it describes. To me this shows that finding rest is not something we can do ourselves but only found in God.

I learned that this hymn was sung by Jim Elliot and his four friends before they reached out to a violent tribe in Ecuador in 1956. When Elisabeth Elliot wrote the story of their deaths, she chose the title from a line in this hymn, Through Gates of Splendor.

We Rest On Thee
by Edith A. G. Cherry
Hymns of the Church #501

We rest on Thee, our Shield and our Defender;
We go not forth alone against the foe;
Strong in Thy strength, safe in Thy keeping tender.
We rest on Thee, and in Thy Name we go.

Yea, in Thy Name, O Captain of salvation!
In Thy dear Name, all other names above;
Jesus our Righteousness, our sure Foundation,
Our Prince of glory and our King of love.
We go in faith, our own great weakness feeling,
And needing more each Thy grace to know;
Yet from our hearts a song of triumph pealing;
We rest on Three, and in thy Name we go.

We rest on Thee, our Shield and our Defender:
Thine is the battle, Thine shall be the praise
When passing thru the gates of pearly splendor;
Victors, we rest with Thee, through endless days.

If reading this by email, click over to the blog to enjoy a video of this hymn.


  1. What a beautiful hymn. I've never heard it before and what a blessing it has the same time as Be Still My Soul. My word for the year is Rest also. I admit I oftentimes forget to stop and allow the Lord to give me peace.
    Gina, I appreciate the hymns you post here. Thank you so very much!

  2. That is a beautiful song! I'm in a part of my life where I need more than just physical rest, but spiritual and emotional rest. Thank God that we have Jesus, our rest and hope secured! Thank you for sharing, Gina. God bless you all!

  3. This has been a favourite song in our family for years,and we sang it at various epochs, such as the eve of Dad's bishop ordination, and before various people left for various mission fields. Last fall we added another memory when my brother and his fiancee chose it as the closing song of their wedding reception. Such beautiful truths here!

  4. Thank you, Gina, for an inspiring message tonight. There are storms within my family and around me, and I am learning to trust God to help me feel restful and feel peace despite these difficult times. You have such a beautiful way with words.

  5. That's a beautiful song! I have liked it for a long time, and I always think of Jim Eliot and his friends when we sing it.

    Mary Beth Martin

  6. Thanks, Gina, for introducing that new hymn to me!!!

  7. I love this hymn. So deep and inspiring! Thanks for sharing Gina! May God's love and grace wrap around you in a special way.

  8. That is one of my favorite songs, Gina. Yes, we will have rest when we stay anchored on our Rock, Jesus Christ.

  9. I am glad that you are finding rest, in rest comes healing and peace to the soul. Keeping you all in my prayers. Sue

  10. That's a lesson we often learn in the hard times, but what a blessing is to rest on him!


I love to hear from you.


Related Posts with Thumbnails