STILL, STILL WITH THEE
Harriet B. Stowe, 1812–1896
Morning by morning, O Lord, You hear my voice; morning by morning I lay my requests before You and wait in expectation. (Psalm 5:3)
“How precious to me are Your thoughts, O God! … When I awake, I am still with Thee”. This was the phrase that inspired Harriet Beecher Stowe as she meditated one morning on Psalm 139:17, 18. In the midst of a busy and productive life—as a writer, an avid crusader against world-wide slavery, and a mother of six—it was Harriet Stowe’s practice to rise at 4:30 each morning to “see the coming of the dawn, hear the singing of the birds, and to enjoy the over-shadowing presence of her God.”
As a devoted mother and the wife of a seminary professor, Harriet still found time to write numerous hymns, a volume of religious verse, and approximately 40 books dealing with the various social problems of her time. Her best known novel was Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which had a strong influence against slavery just before the Civil War.
In later life, as she looked back over many of the difficulties she had experienced in her busy years of raising a family while engaging in many pursuits, Harriet wrote, “I thank God there is one thing running through all of them—from the time I was 13 years old [the age of her conversion]—and that is the intense unwavering sense of Christ’s educating, guiding presence and care.”
It is commonly agreed by hymnists that for sheer poetic beauty, there are few hymn texts that excel these lines:
Still, still with Thee—when purple morning breaketh, when the bird waketh and the shadows flee; fairer than morning, lovelier than daylight, dawns the sweet consciousness—I am with Thee!
Alone with Thee amid the mystic shadows—the solemn hush of nature newly born; alone with Thee in breathless adoration, in the calm dew and freshness of the morn.
Still, still with Thee—as to each new-born morning a fresh and solemn splendor still is giv’n; so doth this blessed consciousness, awaking, breathe each day nearness unto Thee and heav’n!
So shall it be at last in that bright morning, when the soul waketh and life’s shadows flee; O in that hour, fairer than daylight dawning, shall rise the glorious tho’t—I am with Thee!
Job 19:25–27; Psalm 139:17, 18; Colossians 3:4; 1 John 4:13
Live this day with a fresh awareness of God’s beauty in nature and of His companionship in your life. Let this musical message remind you to be—