The spiritual journey of Lent can be a difficult one. We talk about Christ's discipline in the wilderness, resisting temptation. As we follow our own desert roads during this season, we need to know that we will come out the other side, that better things are in store for us. Easter always follows.
This little-known hymn of Lenten journeying is being sung in at least one church I know of today (not mine). The tune is somewhat bleak, but the message is hopeful.
Thirsting for a living spring,
Seeking for a higher home,
Resting where our souls must cling,
Trusting, hoping, Christ, we come.
In our weakness and distress,
Rock of strength, be thou our stay;
In the pathless wilderness,
Be our true and living Way.
Glorious hopes our spirits fill
When we feel that thou art near,
When our many fears are still,
Then the soul's bright rest is clear.
Make us beautiful within
By thy Spirit's holy light;
Guard us when our faith is dim,
Fountain of all love and might.
Life's hard conflict we would win,
Read the meaning of life's frown;
Change the thornbound wreath of sin
For the Spirit's starry crown.
Francis Parker Appleton, 1846; alt.
(v.2 Henry Downton, 1841)
Tune: HALLE (126.96.36.199.)
The Psalmist, 1830