Lent is upon us once again, which means another 40 days of something to help me focus on God’s word. It’s been especially hard to spend time in Scripture or prayer lately, keeping a busy toddler entertained and out of trouble, beating cabin fever, waiting to hear where we will be called (66 days and 23 hours!), etc., so I was especially happy to spend time considering what to do this year for lent.
I remember when I chose to memorize a Psalm each week, I spent a lot of time reading and rereading, writing and speaking those Psalms, which helped me in many ways. It kept me in Scripture, it kept me focused on something good, and it gave me a list of Psalms to pray in many different situations.
I like singing, I like music, and I love hymns. This year, I decided to spend each week memorizing a hymn.
Thi first week is “When Peace Like a River” (LSB #763).
I’ve talked about how much I like this hymn before (see this post). It’s one of my very favorites. It’s my go to when I need something happy to focus on or I’m feeling low or anxious.
Spending a week memorizing the words has been so beneficial. I started learning the ukulele chords, so I can sing along to the music without sifting through the countless singers who skip verses or change words.
However, to listen to this hymn, I recommend this version by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Listening to this gave me goosebumps and tears (however, most versions will bring me tears and goosebumps).
The words of the hymn speak to every part of life: times of joy, times of peace, times of pain and suffering, times of trial and temptation, times of guilt, times of forgiveness, times of death, the end of times, etc. I’m very happy to have these words in my heart so that I can turn to them in each of these moments. I can sing this to my daughter when she wakes up in the night and can’t fall back asleep. I can sing this to myself when I can’t sleep. I can sing this in the weeks leading up to Call Day as I await the announcement of Miguel’s call. I can sing this whenever and forever.
I strongly encourage taking a listen to this hymn, or pulling out your Lutheran Service Book and reading through the lyrics. It’s a great thing to pray at every time of day.
Image taken from Neathelim. “It is Well With My Soul.”