In the seventeenth century Paul Gerhardt and his family had to flee Berlin because of his convictions. As they fled, they stopped at an inn and tried to understand why God was allowing this to happen to them. Gerhardt’s wife was especially concerned about what might lie ahead for their young children.
Gerhardt read Psalm 37 to his family that night. You can imagine him slowing down around verse 16 and emphasizing these verses: “it is better tbe godly and have little than to be evil and possess much…The Lord takes care of the godly…They will survive through hard times.”
Apparently the psalm struck a chord with Mr. Gerhardt himself, because the next day, sitting underneath an apple tree, he wrote a hymn based on this same theme of trusting God in hard times. That evening two messengers came to Gerhardt and offered him refuge and a church position in nearby Merseberg.
This hymn Gerhardt wrote, “Give to the Winds Your Fears,” became popular in Germany, second only in fame to Luther’s “A Might Fortress Is Our God.” School children sang it as a graduation hymn, and in the United States, when the first Lutheran church was opened in Philadelphia in 1743, Gerhardt’s hymn was the first to be sung. Translations into English were made by John Wesley and others. It remains a solid testimony to God’s gracious provision in tough times.
– Taken from One Year Through the Psalms, William and Randy Petersen
Give to the Winds Thy Fears
1. Give to the winds thy fears; hope and be undismayed;
God hears thy sighs and counts thy tears,
God will lift up, God will lift up, God will lift up thy head.
2. Through waves and clouds and storms, He gently clears thy ways;
Wait thou His time, so shall this night
Soon end in joy, soon end in joy, soon end in joyous day.
3. Leave to His sovereign sway to choose and to command;
So shalt thou, wondering, own His way,
How wise, how strong, how wise, how strong, how wise, how strong His hand!
4. Far, far above thy thought, His counsel shall appear,
When fully He the work hath wrought
That caused thy need, that caused thy need, that caused thy needless fear.