I sat down at the piano tonight, leafing through the hymnal in my parents' living room. It was a funeral that brought me back to Wisconsin. The funeral of the dear man who was my school administrator from kindergarten through ninth grade, and pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Waukesha, Wisconsin: Pastor Glen H. Teasdale.
As I type those words, my mind recalls the clear, calm teaching voice heard each Saturday night on WVCY 107.7 FM during the Faith Baptist Bible Study Hour. Certainly his life and ministry exemplify a focus on furthering God's kingdom through Christian education and faithful proclamation of the Word. Now He is enjoying the presence of Christ.
At the piano, my eyes rested on "More Secure is No One Ever," a Swedish hymn written by Lina Sandell Berg (1832-1903). Although I've pondered these words in depth many times, it wasn't until this evening that I looked up some information on the author's life.
Born in Sweden, Lina's life was touched by the revivals that spread through the Scandinavian countries. She was considered "the foremost hymnist" of Sweden, and her life was not without its share of trials.
As a young child, she was struck with paralysis and confined to bed for many years. Her parents were convinced that one day she would be healed. God miraculously answered that prayer when Lina was 12 years old. Her parents were at church, and she spent some time in extended prayer and Bible reading. Upon their return, Lina was dressed and walking. She began writing verses expressing her gratitude to God.
At 26 years of age, she endured a tragic experience while on a ship with her father. The ship gave a sudden lurch, her father was thrown overboard, and she watched him drown.
At 35 years of age, she married a wealthy businessman, C.O. Berg. Their first son died at birth. I can think of no deeper earthly pain than to see one's own child suffer.
To some, including Lina Berg, God has allowed a seemingly large share of trials and difficulties. Maybe you are enduring some deep waters at this season of your life. It would do us all good to take a few moments to ponder the hymn here, considered the finest of the 650 hymns Berg wrote.
More secure is no one ever
Than the loved ones of the Savior--
Not yon star on high abiding
Nor the bird in home nest hiding.
God His own doth tend and nourish,
In His holy courts they flourish;
Like a father kind He spares them,
In His loving arms He bears them.
Neither life nor death can ever
From the Lord His children sever,
For His love and deep compassion
Comforts them in tribulation.
Little flock, to joy then yield thee!
Jacob's God will ever shield thee;
Rest secure with this Defender--
At His will all foes surrender.
What He takes or what He gives us
Shows the Father's love so precious;
We may trust His purpose wholly--
'Tis His children's welfare solely.