May 18, 2020
How Great Thou Art

by Ellen and Todd Adolph

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Psalm 46:1
O Lord, my God, when I in awesome wonder
Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder
Thy power throughout the universe displayed

Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee
How great Thou art, how great Thou art
Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee
How great Thou art, how great Thou art

Familiarity brings comfort, and these familiar words from “How Great Thou Art” were among Mom’s favorites. This hymn will always remind us of her. It was written by a Swedish preacher named Carl Boberg in the 1880’s. The story is told that his inspiration came when he was caught in a very powerful midday thunderstorm. There was violent lightning and thunder along with torrential rains. The storm passed quickly and was followed by brilliant sunlight and birds singing from the trees. The experience caused Boberg to “fall to his knees in humble adoration of his mighty God.”

Today, too, it seems like we are in the midst of a great storm. Each day brings news of growing death tolls and hospitalizations with so many people out of work and struggling to put food on the table. It is a scene and scale that no one could ever have anticipated; COVID19 arrived suddenly and violently like a midday thunderstorm. Todd and I have repeatedly wondered what our parents would have thought of our current storm. These are individuals who lived through the Great Depression, the Holocaust and World War! Their sentiments would be generically the same, and reassurances would likely be made by recanting Todd's Papa Leo's most famous saying, "This too, shall pass.”
Yes, the sunlight will prevail. The birds will begin to sing again. And the faithful will fall to their knees in “humble adoration of his mighty God.” We have much to be grateful for even in these difficult times. Let us give thanks and praise:
Dear Lord, we give thanks today for the many blessings that you have bestowed upon us. We know we are living in uncertain times and look to you for guidance. We are thankful for the healthcare workers who put themselves in jeopardy each day to heal us. We are thankful for the people that provide food to us in stores and restaurants. We are thankful for our first responders, our teachers, and our spiritual and civic leaders.

We know that the sunlight will prevail and the birds will sing again.
And we fall to our knees in humble adoration. Amen.
Alpharetta Presbyterian Church
180 Academy Street, Alpharetta, GA 30009