Did you know? Johann Sebastian Bach fathered 20 children, only of which 10 survived, all having tragically died before adulthood. In total, he lost three children to his first wife and seven children to his second wife. Illness, plagues, and the limited medical care of the times meant many didn’t make it past their young years. Then, in 1720, after 13 years of marriage, his first wife, Maria Barbara Bach, suddenly died while Bach was traveling and before he could say goodbye. Bach was distraught with grief. Just over a year later, he remarried, and with his second wife, Anna-Magdalena, they lost four more daughters and three sons—ten beloved children. I can hardly imagine how he was able to go on. And yet he continued to write some of the most beautiful music the world has heard.
In 2016, I composed and uploaded a song on YouTube entitled “We Cry Of / In Quiet Faithfulness.” The song is original, except for some lyrics borrowed from J.S. Bach. It’s a personal testimony of mine. You can click the link below to listen to it.
The world was in turmoil when I wrote the opening segment titled “We Cry Of” in the early 1970s. The Beatles, public demonstrations, disorder (sound familiar?), gas shortage lines, and the Vietnam War were in full swing. In 1971, the Jesus Revolution was Time magazine’s featured front cover. It was a period in history of soul searching, of looking inward. It was a time when I was trying to find my identity. Although my struggles were hardly as tragic as Bach’s circumstances, I, too, experienced life’s trials – the death of a loved one, the unfaithfulness of a friend, a feeling of insecurity, a lack of understanding, and personal problems.
Christmas in 1962 was to be a joyous time with family and friends. The Christmas tree was adorned with glistening balls and lights, and we were looking forward to opening gifts and enjoying homemade cookies and milk by the fireplace. However, this year would be different, as tragedy struck 6-days before Christmas. My father was 37 years old, young, and I was 11 years old when he tragically passed away.
Growing up without a dad had a profound effect on me as a boy of 11 into young adulthood. It was life-changing. As my father was absent for half of my schooling, I was not able to go to him for emotional support, so emotional instability and complex relationships were the norm throughout my middle school and high school years and even into my college years. I needed my father because they play a role in every child’s life that others cannot fill. An interesting study showed that fathers significantly impact a child and help shape them into the person they become, not only on the inside but on the outside, as well as how others perceive them and how they have relationships with others as they grow.
By the time I attended college in 1969, instead of being in touch with the joys of my past, I often had negative thoughts. Unresolved trauma and emotional pain from my high school years still followed me. I felt vulnerable and insecure, felt shame for my past, and was often anxious. So, in search of a new way to live, I became a part of the ‘turn on, tune in, drop out’ long-haired hippie counterculture that was sweeping America.
You might ask, what is anyone to do when unfortunate circumstances happen to you, none of which you can control? The Bible says one must look to Jesus and the comfort He can give. And so, in my trouble, I cried to the Lord, and He answered me (Psalm 120:1). Like many “long beautiful hair, shining, gleaming, steaming, flaxen, waxen, give me down to there hair, shoulder length or longer”2 haired hippies, I began to question the gospel. I would eventually discover my identity in Christ, the Father who extravagantly loves and gives, the God of mercy and all comfort, a Father whose heart was for me to return to His loving embrace and find solace in Him.
O Lord, please rescue me. Come quickly to help me, O Lord (Ps. 40:13)
Took Wings and went to heaven
During the Bridge of the song, I took wings and went to heaven, got saved, and came back to earth. That was in 1972. Although we really don’t take wings and go to heaven, get saved, and come back to earth, it’s merely a figure of speech that shows one’s need to transcend our worldly life to a higher spiritual realm in which we meet Christ as our savior and lover. It is one’s faith in Christ that rescues us from controlling our destiny and prepares us to live “In Quiet Faithfulness.”
In Quiet Faithfulness
IIn this last song segment, God is my refuge, safe and sure, my staff and rod in trouble, need, and stress. I am content, and in patience, I endure. And like Bach, through it all, I find solace for “God is my refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble” (Psalm 46:1 New Living Translation).
“In quiet faithfulness, I love and serve my God.
In trouble, need, and stress, He is my Staff and Rod. (Ps. 23:4)
In God, I am content, In patience I endure, In Him my house and I find refuge safe and sure (Nahum 1:7)”
“I therefore thank my God and love and serve Him still;
What happens in this world must ever be God’s will.
I place in child-like trust my life into His care.
In God, I am content, what’ere my sphere or share.“
I, too, have made these lyrics my prayer.
Do you truly understand who God is, as revealed in the Bible? For faith in God to be genuine, we must accept Him as He has revealed Himself in Scripture.
Have you surrendered your life to His care? It’s resigning your life into his hands to do with you as he pleases.
Is He your refuge safe and sure, your staff and rod in trouble, need, and stress?
Can you place in child-like trust your life into God’s care?
Can you give thanks in all circumstances?
And in any and in every circumstance, have you learned the secret of contentment? The Bible says in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
So, take a few minutes now, call upon Him, for He is your helper, and make Psalm 46:1-3 below your declaration, then listen to “We Cry Of / In Quiet Faithfulness,” and make the song’s words your prayer and declaration. See the YouTube link below.
Prayer/Declaration: God, you’re such a safe and powerful place to find refuge! You’re a proven help in times of trouble— more than enough and always available whenever I need you. I will never fear even if every support structure crumbles. I will not fear even when the earthquakes and shakes, moving mountains and casting them into the sea. For the raging roar of stormy winds and crashing waves cannot erode my faith in you.
Copyright 2023 by Bill Hutzel
Copyright 2023 by Bill Hutzel