“…Something God Alone Can See”

For my first teaching assignment, I found myself surrounded by the love and reduced height of kindergarten students.  Each week, we would gather for chapel and sing…one of those songs was “A Hymn of Promise.”  I didn’t think much of the song or the words, then.  On Dec. 6 (the year anniversary of my wife’s going to be with the Lord), I was in the kitchen and the tune was playing over and over in my head.  Once God helped me figure out what the song was, I looked up the words and history behind the song.  And the rest is such a God story!

“It is from a beautiful hymn (both music and lyrics) by Natalie Sleeth (10/29/1930 – 3/21/1992). While in the process of writing the hymn, she wrote that she was. . .“…pon­der­ing the death of a friend (life and death, death and re­sur­rect­ion), pon­der­ing win­ter and spring (seem­ing op­po­sites), and a T. S. El­i­ot poem which had the phrase, ‘In our end is our be­gin­ning.’ These seem­ing­ly con­tra­dic­to­ry
‘pairs’ led to the the­sis of the song and the hope­ful mes­sage that out of one will come the other when­ev­er God choos­es to bring that
about” (Calhoun, 2011).

My Jaime wrote a blog during her journey of cancer and often referred to “that time” as her winter; realizing that beneath the season a
beautiful spring would soon arrive.  Of course, for Jaime, her spring arrived late in the evening on December 6th, as she stepped into
heaven. I am sending the lyrics to you so that the words, full of God’s truth about the beauty and reality of what is to come, will sink deep into your heart.  Loss is painful, but His Truth gives us great hope! Be encouraged!!

“Hymn of Promise”
© Natalie Sleeth 1986

In the bulb there is a flower;
In the seed, an apple tree;
In cocoons, a hidden promise:
Butterflies will soon be free!

In the cold and snow of winter,
There’s a spring that waits to be,
Unrevealed until its season,
Something God alone can see.

There’s a song in every silence,
Seeking word and melody;
There’s a dawn in every darkness,
bringing hope to you and me.

From the past will come the future;
What it holds, a mystery,
Unrevealed until its season,
Something God alone can see.

In our end is our beginning;
In our time, infinity.
In our doubt, there is believing;
In our life, eternity.

In our death, a resurrection;
At the last, a victory
Unrevealed until its season,
Something God alone can see.

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