Because of chronic illness, I do best with a quiet routine at home. This past week has been too busy for me, so I’m bone weary and I don’t feel very well in my chest. But still, it has been filled with time spent with our kids and grandkids, and that is such a joy. So even though my body feels worn out, my heart is still warmed by the blessings of love.
And as we are in the Advent season, my heart warms with what gifts God has brought us when He came to dwell with us here on earth. Thanks be to His coming, love, hope, peace, mercy, and grace are possible.
In this world we are surrounded by violence, some we hear about on the news and some unknown. So many people are suffering, whether revealed or hidden behind masks of “I’m fine.” Sometimes it can be so despairing that we wonder – “Where are You, God? Where is that peace on earth?”
Way back in 1864, after enduring so much heartache, Henry W. Longfellow spilled out these same emotions in the song “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day,” but the words still resonate in hearts today.
I heard the bells on Christmas day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men.
And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along the unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.
Till ringing, singing on its way
The world revolved from night today,
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good will to men.
And in despair I bowed my head
“There is no peace on earth,” I said,
“For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.”
Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
With peace on earth, good will to men.”
Thank God, He has not left us without hope. He is not dead. He never sleeps. Because of His coming in the Flesh, justice will prevail. Because He loved us so much, He came down to gift us with peace and good will. Such wondrous love!
I hope that in this Advent season, your hearts will fill with the light of hope, peace, and love!
“The Word gave life to everything that was created,
and His life brought light to everyone.
The Light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness can never extinguish it.”
John 1:4-5 NLT
“I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day”
by Casting Crowns
Linking up with:
Holley – Coffee For Your Heart
Jennifer – Tell His Story
Kelly – Cheerleaders of Faith
Barbie – Weekend Whispers
29 thoughts on “The Light of Hope and Peace Shine In the Darkness”
I’m so sorry to hear of your pain, Trudy. Life can be weary when our bodies are hurting. I’m glad you found joy in your precious family over the holiday. Many blessings to you and yours in this Advent season. I’ll be praying for healing for you, my friend. Thank you for sharing the beautiful song :).
Thank you so much for your compassion and prayers, Candace. I read on Ceil’s blog that you have two children who have chronic illnesses. I’m so sorry. That must make your loving mother-heart ache. I think it would be easier to suffer ourselves than to see our children go through it. I will add them to my prayers when I pray for you, dear friend. May God fill all of you with the blessings of His love and peace this Advent season! Hugs!
Amen, Trudy! Thanks for sharing your insight into this beautiful hymn. May He pour out his grace to us, his light of Hope!
Amen, Betsy! Thank you for this prayer. I’m praying along with you! Hugs!
Thanks so much for sharing that hope filled and truth filled hymn….so glad that evil doesn’t get the final say….many blessings to you as you recuperate….I’m recovering, too…((hugs))
P.S. hope you get time to rest….Glad you had a blessed time with your family
Thank you, Dolly. I hope you recover, too. I’m so glad God gave you hope through this hymn. May God fill you with His blessings of love, hope, and joy! Hugs!
What a powerful song, and story Trudy! Thank you so much for sharing this. Praying you are able to rest and heal, friend!
Yes, it is, isn’t it? This hymn really speaks the anguish in our hearts and the peace there is only in Jesus. Thank you for your prayers, Michelle. May God give you ever deeper healing of all the painful layers within! Hugs!
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I love those words from Longfellow! He’s one of my favorites, too. Holidays can be so wonderful yet exhausting, can’t they? I can relate with your weariness with a chronic illness, yet I’m trying to ask my soul when circumstances disappoint and dull my hopes, how can I pull up closer to God to see a new side of him. And this Thanksgiving, he so graciously did to whisper, “Have I withheld any good thing from you?” Praying that you experience something in his love for you that you haven’t seen before and that he reveals his love for you in a new and fresh way! xo
Thank you so much for your caring prayers, Valerie. What a great question to ask yourself – “how can I pull up closer to God to see a new side of him?” I love how He graciously answered you! He surely doesn’t withhold good from us but gives us so much more than we realize. May God give you strength and hope amidst disappointing circumstances and reveal more and more of Himself to You! Hugs!
I do hear you about the huge need for that quietness at home. The older I get, the crazier life is, the more I relish the solitude and silence that reading and writing and puttering provide.
Thank you for your wisdom, Trudy …
Thank you for understanding, Linda. I not only need more quietness for my body, but I’m finding it’s also good for our spirits. When life is so busy, it’s hard to hear God’s whispers, isn’t it? May God give you special strength and peace throughout this season when losses of loved ones hurt even more! Hugs!
Dear Trudy, I’m sorry you are suffering so much after an extra busy time with the family, but I’m pleased you can say your heart “is still warmed by the blessings of love.” despite your pain and fatigue. That is a gift of grace. This season is doubly hard when we have the added pressure of chronic illness made worse by exertion. Our minds may be willing but our bodies cry out the need to take a break, be quiet and still. It’s a vital necessity I share.
Thank you for revealing how to see joy despite the pain and hope shining bright in dark places. Only God can turn lives around and provide a new perspective. Praying you may heal well as you rest and become strengthened for all that lies ahead. Take good care of yourself, lovely friend. Sending gentle sympathy hugs! Xx ❤
Thank you for all your prayers, support, and empathy, Joy. It’s hard when our bodies cry out for rest, isn’t it? Many times over those busier days I have to send cries up to God to give me strength. I am trying hard to see everything through the lens of God’s grace and love instead of dwelling on the negative troubles. Praying you, too, will become strengthened in body and in spirit and be given the rest you need! Hugs!
Trudi- I LOVE this song and the hope in it- Thank you for sharing this and for turning my face to Jesus and the truth that his light shines in the dark and the dark cannot overcome it -How I need to keep that truth ever before me! There is Hope in Him- Praying you feel better and refreshed soon- sending hugs
Thank you for your caring prayers, Susie. Yes, His light shines in the darkness and the dark cannot overcome it. But when darkness surrounds us, it is hard to remember sometimes, isn’t it? I, too, need to cling to that truth! May we both hang onto the light and hope there is in Him! Hugs!
“Even though my body feels worn out, my heart is still warmed by the blessings of love.” I know this feeling all too well Trudy and I completely understand!! And yet even in our pain, the Lord is GOOD to us. I find He continually gives me all that I need to get through. Even when it seems unbearable He give me hope. Blessings to you!
Thank you for understanding, Lauren. Though I’m sorry you experience weariness and pain, I’m so glad God gives you hope to get through. May God give you His all-sufficient grace to get through each day and overflow your heart with hope and peace! Hugs!
Hope, how lost I would be without it. Praying you feel better soon.
Thank you, Michelle. Oh yes, I would be so lost without hope, too! May the light and hope of Jesus fill you each day! Hugs!
Sweet Trudy, I hope you are enjoying quiet, restorative rest this week. This Christmas song is one of my absolute favorites too, and its words are taking on even greater meaning this week, aren’t they? “God is not dead, nor does He sleep.” Yes and amen!
Thank you, Lois. Yes, it’s scary to hear of yet another shooting. It makes me think of the verse – “For hate is strong and mocks the song Of peace on earth, good will to men.” But we have to keep clinging to that truth that God is not dead and never sleeps. There’s so much hope in that, isn’t there? May God give you that light of hope in the midst of the darkness! Hugs!
Trudy, thank you for sharing the history of this song – I had no idea the meaning behind it or the tragic story of Longfellow!
I’ll never hear it the same old way again. Indeed we can relate to the words today. May you find rest soon!
Hi Carrie. Yes, isn’t his story so sad? Sometimes a song becomes so much more meaningful when we hear the story behind it, doesn’t it? It’s like he’s trying to convince his broken heart that “God is not dead, nor doth He sleep.” So hopeful even for today. Thank you for your kind regards. May God give you a hope-filled season of Advent! Hugs!
I know all too well what it is like to have a body ridden with pain. I am praying for you. So thankful to have you as part of the Weekend Whispers community.
I’m so sorry you have a body ridden with pain, Barbie. I will pray for you, too. Thank you for praying for me. I only recently found your blog, but I am glad God found it for me. 🙂 It is so hope-filled. May God give you rest and peace in body and spirit! Hugs!
I’m sorry you had a difficult week but I am rejoicing with you that you found the blessing in the middle of the pain. Thank you for the background on the song “I Heard the Bells”. I also love that you chose the Casting Crowns version of the song, which is done beautifully. Praying that this week dawns bright for you and is relatively pain free.
Thank you, Mary, for you kind thoughts and prayers. I love the Casting Crowns version. They really bring out the power and meaning in the song. May God fill your heart with the hope and peace there is in Jesus coming down to earth! Hugs!