A couple of years ago I arranged this hymn as a gift for my mother-in-law’s birthday. When it was suggested for my list of hymns for this year, I debated whether I should re-arrange it or just use the one I had already done. It felt strange to change something that I had given as a gift, so this is the lone repeat for this year of song! It also happens to be her birthday this week, so I once again give this gift.
This is a hymn that, in my Mennonite heritage, is often associated with the long journey of those who left the Ukraine in the early 1900s and came to Canada and the United States. A story of hardship, persecution, escape and arrival in a new land with new opportunities. It is a history steeped in the idea that faith carries one through difficult times, and this hymn’s words reflect this.
In the rifted rock I’m resting,
Safely sheltered I abide;
There no foes nor storms molest me,
While within the cleft I hide.
Refrain: Now I’m resting, sweetly resting,
In the cleft once made for me;
Jesus, blessed Rock of Ages,
I will hide myself in Thee.
Long pursued by sin and Satan,
Weary, sad, I longed for rest;
Then I found this heav’nly shelter
Opened in my Savior’s breast.
Peace which passeth understanding,
Joy the world can never give,
Now in Jesus I am finding,
In His smiles of love I live.
In the rifted rock I’ll hide me,
Till the storms of life are past;
All secure in this blest refuge,
Heeding not the fiercest blast.