Earlier, I wrote how “It Is Well With My Soul” was one hymn that has held special meaning for me. “Day By Day” is the other classic hymn that has encouraged me. Our choir has often sung it. In my journal, I had written about a particular instance in July 2003 when we were practicing it. I wanted to mean the words I was singing, and the tears started to flow. I tried to control it, but they just wouldn’t stop. After excusing myself, I tried to leave the building and go home, but a friend spotted me and wouldn’t let me sneak out. Instead we talked in an office, where she said she prays for me every day. She encouraged me that day and made me laugh, too.
When our choir practiced the next Sunday as final preparation before the service, I realized I must not have been the only one down in my spirit. Our music director said it wasn’t supposed to be a grievous, mourning song, so smile! I thought of that the whole song through, and made it, praise the Lord.
“Day By Day” was written by Lina Sandell, the daughter of a Swedish Lutheran minister. She was stricken with a paralysis as a young child. In 1858, at the age of 26, Lina was accompanying her father aboard a ship from Jonkoping to Gothenberg across Lake Vattern. The ship gave a sudden lurch, which caused her father to fall overboard and drown before her very eyes. Sources often give this tragic event as the motivation for the writing of this hymn, which reflects a simple child-like trust in Christ and a deep sense of his abiding presence, despite adversity.
Day by Day And With Each Passing Moment
Words by Carolina Sandell Berg
Tr. Andrew L. Skoog
Music by Oscar Ahnfelt
Day by day and with each passing moment,
Strength I find to meet my trials here;
Trusting in my Father’s wise bestowment,
I’ve no cause for worry or for fear.
He whose heart is kind beyond all measure
Gives unto each day what He deems best;
Lovingly, it’s part of pain and pleasure,
Mingling toil with peace and rest.
Every day the Lord Himself is near me
With a special mercy for each hour.
All my cares He fain would bear and cheer me,
He whose name is Counselor and Power.
The protection of His child and treasure
Is a charge that on Himself He laid;
“As thy days, thy strength shall be in measure,”
This the pledge to me He made.
Help me then in every tribulation
So to trust Thy promises, O Lord,
That I lose not faith’s sweet consolation
Offered me within Thy holy word.
Help me Lord, when toil and trouble meeting,
E’er to take, as from a father’s hand,
One by one, the days, the moments fleeting,
Till I reach the promised land.
Although only the first verse is in English, this woman’s voice is beautiful.