DAY BY DAY
Lina Sandell Berg, 1832–1903
Translated by Andrew L. Skoog, 1856–1934
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. (Joshua 1:9)
It is a common tendency for people to look ahead. They wonder—what will happen next? That’s why the pseudo science of astrology is booming today as never before. Because we are apprehensive of the future, wondering when some health problem or perhaps a financial difficulty will surprise us, we long for a reassuring word of comfort.
“Day by Day” was written by a young Swedish woman who learned early in life the all-important lesson of living each day with the conscious presence and strength of her Lord. Lina Sandell has often been called the “Fanny Crosby of Sweden” for her many contributions to gospel hymnody. From her pen flowed approximately 650 hymns which strongly influenced the waves of revival that swept the Scandinavian countries during the latter half of the 19th century.
At the age of 26 Lina had an experience that greatly influenced her life. She was accompanying her father aboard ship to the city of Gothenburg, Sweden, across Lake Vattern. The ship gave a sudden lurch and Lina’s father, a devout Lutheran minister, fell overboard and drowned before the eyes of his devoted daughter. Although Lina had written many hymn texts prior to this tragic experience, now more than ever poetic thoughts that expressed a tender, child-like trust in her Lord began to flow freely from her broken heart.
Day by day and with each passing moment, strength I find to meet my trials here; trusting in my Father’s wise bestowment, I’ve no cause for worry or for fear. He whose heart is kind beyond all measure gives unto each day what He deems best—lovingly, its part of pain and pleasure, mingling toil with peace and rest.
Ev’ry day the Lord Himself is near me with a special mercy for each hour; all my cares He fain would bear, and cheer me, He whose name is Counsellor and Pow’r. The protection of His child and treasure is a charge that on Himself He laid: “As thy days, thy strength shall be in measure,” this the pledge to me He made.
Deuteronomy 33:25; Psalm 55:22; Isaiah 14:3; 2 Corinthians 12:9; Hebrews 4:16
Practice the kind of deep and peaceful trust that Lina Sandell has expressed in this hymn. Focus only on the challenges and difficulties of today and trust the Lord for tomorrow. Sing this message as you go—