Stand By Me

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When the night has come
And the land is dark
And the moon is the only light we’ll see,
No I won’t be afraid
Oh, I won’t be afraid
Just as long as you stand, stand by me.

As I’ve been re-reading the story of Job I’ve been reminded how alone he felt: ‘(God) has alienated my brothers from me ; my acquaintances are completely estranged from me.’  (19:13)

Job knew that true friendship wasn’t just about sharing good times and giving good advice, it was about just being there in the darkest times. He wanted someone who would just stand by him.

Ben E King’s ‘Stand by Me’  was developed from an old spiritual based on Psalm 46

‘God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea.’

If the sky that we look upon
Should tumble and fall
Or the mountain should crumble to the sea
I won’t cry, I won’t cry
No, I won’t shed a tear
Just as long as you stand, stand by me.

The psalm-writer knew his God as someone who stood by him when everything else failed or went wrong.

Job had a similar experience. When he was alone, he had lost everything, and he could see no way out of an impossible situation, he said:

‘I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth; and after my skin has been destroyed yet in my flesh I will see God.’ (19:25-26)

My prayer today is ‘Stand by me’ – that I will know a God who stands by me through everything that comes my way.

My prayer today is that from my secure knowledge and experience of my God I will respond with empathy, dependability and compassion to those who ask ‘Stand by Me’.

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