Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Karolina Wilhelmina Sandell-Berg

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, it’s part of pain and pleasure
Mingling toil with peace and rest.


I could not recall the name of the writer of this beautiful hymn, one that has been dear to my heart for years and one that God has used to reassure me of His wondrous love and compassion for each of His children countless times.   However, when I searched for the hymn on Cyber Hymnal (our family's first stop for hymn history, tunes and lyrics) and came upon Karolina Sandell-Berg and read her story, I suddenly remembered having read it before.  It again gave new meaning to the spirit-filled words that speak plainly of the link between our daily existence and God's sovereign will in our lives.  A main theme that runs through the hymn, that of a quiet, trusting spirit, recalls to mind the verse in Psalms:
Trust in Him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before Him:
God is a refuge for us.  Selah.
In this beginning post I would like to take a moment and look at the writer of this hymn that is to be the theme of my blog.

   Lina Sandell, the name by which she was known in her country, was nicknamed the "Fanny Crosby of Sweden"; though she did not write near as many hymns as Miss Crosby did, she is said to have been as popular among her people as was the famous American hymnwriter. However she wrote anonymously, always signing her poems simply with "L.S."  It was Oskar Ahnfelt who brought her hymns to the public, arranging music to them and singing them (while accompanying himself on guitar) around Scandanavia.
   On a trip with her father when she was 26 years of age, as they were crossing a lake in a boat, her father was suddenly thrown overboard and drowned before her eyes. The accident impacted her greatly for the rest of her life. At age 33 she penned the words of "Day By Day", just one of the 650 hymns she wrote in her lifetime before and after the accident; hymns that "mightily influenced the revival that swept across Scandanavia after l850".
 The words of Lina Berg's hymns were all the more popular because of the simple, beautiful melodies written for them, especially those of Oscar Ahnfelt who played his guitar and sang her hymns throughout Scandanavia. Lina Berg once said that Ahnfeld sang her songs "into the hearts of the people." 2
   Read and sing the hymn to the beautiful tune (which can also be found at Cyber Hymnal), and recall it to  mind when you are feeling down or stressed.   Whatever you are going through at the moment, or if you simply need a refreshing of the soul, I am sure the words will resonate with you as much as they did with me.
Every day the Lord Himself is near me
With a special mercy for each hour
All my cares He wants to bear, to cheer me
He Whose Name is Counselor and Power.

The protection of His child and treasure
Is a charge that on Himself He laid
“As your days, your strength shall be in measure”—
This, the pledge to me He made.

Help me then, in every tribulation
So to trust Thy promises, O Lord.
That I lose not faith’s sweet consolation
Offered me within Thy holy Word.

Help me Lord when trial and trouble meeting
E’er to take as from a Father’s hand
One by one, the days, the moments fleeting
Till we reach the Promised Land.

Notes: 1. Psalm 62:8  2. Christian History Institute, "Lina Sandell Berg: Songs Out of Tragedy"

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting this Melody! I love old hymns--they always bless me ;)