Stand By Me

We went to the local high school’s spring dance recital Saturday afternoon.  My eight year old granddaughter was in it.  She did a great job.

Before the show started they were playing music over the excellent sound system.  Most of it was familiar stuff.  I was enjoying all of it.  Great acoustics.  I don’t know who the artists was who did My Girl.  Good but not the Temptations.

Then came Stand By Me, a song by Ben E. King from 1961.  I like the song.  It reminds me of  the days when you could understand the words and when songs had, you know, tunes.  I’ve probably heard this song a hundred times over the years.  But this time some in the lyrics caught my attention.  Here is the second verse.  See if it reminds you of something.

If the sky that we look upon
Should tumble and fall
All the mountains should crumble to the sea
I won’t cry, I won’t cry
No, I won’t shed a tear
Just as long as you stand, stand by me

Compare this to Psalm 46:1-3.

 God is our refuge and strength,
    an ever-present help in trouble.
 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
    and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
 though its waters roar and foam
    and the mountains quake with their surging.

When that comparison hit me it gave me goosebumps to think how God can speak to us anytime and anywhere, how God can speak when we are not even listening, how God can even use what we would consider ‘unrighteous’ mediums to reach us.  Like popular music.

Here is the first verse of that song.

When the night has come
And the land is dark
And the moon is the only light we’ll see
No I won’t be afraid
Oh, I won’t be afraid
Just as long as you stand, stand by me

There are lots of voices telling us to be afraid.  There are lots of voices telling we should be hopping mad about something or other.  Neither of those emotions are what you would consider exactly Christian attributes, are they?  I have tried to make a determined effort to not be afraid and not be angry.  I fail a lot.  I have found that there is always a reason to be afraid or to be angry.  If I can’t find a reason there are always plenty of people who are more than willing to help me find a reason.  I listen and I fail but I’m going to keep trying.

That Psalm 46 says ‘Therefore we will not fear’.


Because after all God is still our refuge and strength.



About Angus Lewis

My wife and I lived our whole lives in Arkansas until ten years ago. We moved to the Kansas City area in 2011 (a job change). That was the reason for the 'From a Far Country' title. Our children and grandchildren were in Arkansas. Six months ago we sold our house and bought one in Sherwood, Arkansas and my wife moved back down here. Two weeks ago I retired and moved back too. (I'm probably going to try to find something part time to keep me out of trouble.) So maybe the 'From a Far Country' title is not so much of a fit anymore. But I think I'll stick with it. I'm still not home. Not yet. The Bible says we are all strangers and pilgrims here. Our real home is with God and some day we'll be there. We'll be home.
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