DEAR LORD AND FATHER OF MANKIND
John Greenleaf Whittier, 1807–1892
In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength. (Isaiah 30:15)
So often in our modern lives we attack our problems with frantic and hurried activity, creating unnecessary stress for ourselves. We easily forget that our heavenly Father can assist us in meeting our daily challenges with serenity and calm assurance. We need the quiet confidence in God and a peaceful resting in His eternal love that is reflected in this beautiful text by John Greenleaf Whittier, “America’s beloved Quaker poet.” Whittier’s poetic lines remind us of this so clearly, admonishing us to listen carefully for God’s “still small voice of calm” in the midst of all of life’s turbulence.
Whittier was a good example of quiet godly life in his speech, dress, and writings. It has been said that he “left upon our literature the stamp of genius and upon our religion the touch of sanity.”
“A good hymn is the best use to which poetry can be devoted, though I do not claim to have succeeded in writing one,” wrote Whittier. Hymnal editors, however, have collected and edited enough of his poems to make seventy-five hymns.
John Greenleaf Whittier’s life expressed the steadfast rest in his heavenly Father’s love that these words suggest. As you read, why not decide now to let Him guide you and give you peace in this hectic world.
Dear Lord and Father of mankind, forgive our fev’rish ways! Reclothe us in our rightful mind; in purer lives Thy service find, in deeper rev’rence, praise.
In simple trust like theirs who heard, beside the Syrian sea, the gracious calling of the Lord, let us, like them, without a word rise up and follow Thee.
Drop Thy still dews of quietness till all our strivings cease; take from our souls the strain and stress, and let our ordered lives confess the beauty of Thy peace.
Breathe thru the heats of our desire Thy coolness and Thy balm; let sense be dumb, let flesh retire; speak thru the earthquake, wind and fire, O still small voice of calm.
Mark 1:16–20; 4:6; 2 Timothy 1:9; 1 Peter 2:9; 1 John 1:9
Breathe this prayer as you begin your activities today—“Lord, grant to me a quiet mind, that trusting Thee … for Thou art kind … I may go on without a fear, for Thou, my Lord, art always near.” Use this musical message to remember