Dear Refuge of My Weary Soul
Anne Steele was the daughter of a timber merchant who also served as a lay pastor. Anne dealt with a lot of suffering in her life. Her mother died when she was 3; she bacame invalid at the age of 19 after a hip injury; she was engaged to be married at the age of 21, but her fiancé drowned on the day of their wedding.
This woman knew suffering and pain. She dealt with it by writing more than seventy hymns. This Sunday we'll be singing one of her hymns, "Dear Refuge of My Weary Soul," which was published in 1760. I don't always talk about the origin of hymns, but I thought this was important. When she talks about her soul being weary and God being her refuge, she really means it. She knows weariness. As we sing this song in the 9:30 service remember its origin.
According to reports, Anne "maintained a cheerful attitude" despite her painful life. Having a cheerful life in the face of such suffering can only come from a life lived in the shadow of the wings of God. She knew how to take her sorrows to God so that he could restore her. May we do the same.
Below are the words we'll be singing:
Dear refuge of my weary soul on you when sorrows rise
On you when waves of troubles roll my fainting hope relies
To you I tell each rising grief for you alone can heal
Your Word can bring a sweet relief for every pain I feel
And oh my Lord
To you when waves of troubles roll I'll come
But oh, when gloomy doubts prevail I fear to call you mine
The springs of comfort seem to fail and all my hopes decline
But gracious God where can I flee? You are my only trust
And still my soul would cling to thee, though prostrate in the dust
Have you not bid me seek thy face and shall I seek in vain?
And can the ear of sovereign grace be deaf when I complain?
Thy mercy-seat is open still; here let my soul retreat
With humble hope attend thy will and wait beneath thy feet