Faith is Patience in the Night

Faith is patience in the night, Faith is steadfast will to live,
waiting for the morning light, standing firm and positive,
never giving up the fight. being ready still to give,
Spirit God give us faith. Spirit God give us faith.

Faith is laughter in our pain, Faith is courage under stress,
joy in pleasures that remain, confidence in hopelessness,
trust in one we can’t explain. greatest gift we can possess.
Spirit God give us faith. Spirit God give us faith

Mary Nelson Keithahn, 2000

During Lent, we often think about the wilderness that Jesus experienced when he was tempted. We too experience the wilderness in our lives; the times that we question our faith; when we are tempted and give into temptation; at the loss of loved ones and relationships; or when we are not understood or appreciated.

The focus of this hymn by Mary Nelson Keithahn is on faith. A faith that helps us through a dark night. A faith that gives us strength to endure illness or pain. A faith that under-girds our journeys of witness and service. A faith that gives us courage and confidence in the midst of hopelessness and fear.

Think about those times in your life when you have been in the “wilderness.”
How was your faith a blessing or a burden?
What can you do during the remaining days of Lent to increase your faith so that the Way of Jesus leads you through the wilderness?
Read this hymn again. What images or experiences do each stanza being to mind and why?
As you reflect on this hymn, make it your prayer and ask God for an increased faith that is patient, trusting, steadfast, and full of courage.

Mary Nelson Keithahn is a minister in the United Church of Christ in South Dakota. She has published several collections of hymns and written numerous articles for religious and educational publications. Her hymns are biblically based and express the faith in a fresh, challenging, and theologically sound manner.

Joyce D. Sohl, Laywoman-in-Residence


Joyce D. Sohl has been Laywoman-in-Residence since 2009 as a full-time volunteer. She retired as CEO of United Methodist Women in 2004. She is the author of 4 books, a teacher, retreat leader, writer and non-professional musician. Here at the Center her work is in the area of Spirituality & the Arts with such programs as Tuesdays in the Chapel, Vespers & All That Jazz, Poet’s Corner, quarterly retreats, and art exhibits.

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