A Hymn for Meditation

hymnalChildren of the heavenly Father

By Karolina Wilhelmina Sandell-Berg 1855
hymn text in the public domain
text from http://www.hymnary.org

1 Children of the heavenly Father
safely in his bosom gather;
nestling bird nor star in heaven
such a refuge e’er was given.

2 God his own shall tend and nourish;
in his holy courts they flourish.
From all evil powers he spares them;
in his mighty arms he bears them.

3 Neither life nor death shall ever
from the Lord his children sever;
for to them his grace revealing,
he turns sorrow into healing.

4 God has given, he has taken,
but his children ne’er forsaken;
his the loving purpose solely
to preserve them pure and holy.

  • The author of this hymn saw her own father drown when she was only 26. What does this hymn reveal about her reaction to that tragedy?
  • The book of Psalms includes many hymns that, like this one, express a faith that God does not abandon his children, no matter how much they suffer. What is the difference between trusting God to make everything okay and trusting that whatever God does is for our blessing?
  • The author’s father drowned, and she was helpless to save him. How can she possibly say of God, “from all evil powers he spares them?”
  • What Bible person made a statement similar to “God has given, he has taken.” What was that person’s attitude toward God? (See Job 1)
  • Every person who has received Christ in his heart live in two unique dimension—time and eternity—because of the indwelling Holy Spirit. How does this hymn writer speak of this truth?