how firm a foundation

Oct 11, 2009

This song is one of my all time favorites. Our family loves to belt it out – all seven verses – at the top of our lungs. It is full of power, full of hope, full of commitment. Keziah is singing a solo of it in our primary program in a couple of weeks – we LOVE this song.

Today at church I testified that God knows exactly who we are and what we need. I shared the miraculous story of someone ordering us a ton of cases of food at the case-lot sale and how much our pantry had needed them and more importantly, how much our hearts had needed to know that we are not forgotten by our God. We needed to know He would prompt someone to take care of us.

This has been a very long six weeks since school started. Richard is leaving the house at 6 a.m. and not getting home till after 8 p.m.. He works six days a week. We miss him. We need him. He needs us.

And yet, we need to pay the bills. We are trying our best and it just isn’t enough.

So I bawled my head off in front of my whole congregation and told them I knew, really knew that God knows exactly what we need and our job is to have faith that He does and that He will extend His arms to us, often through earthly angels.

As I sat down, the organ started playing “How Firm a Foundation” and I burst into another torrent of tears. I sobbed through the entire hymn. Listen to these words and think about them and your relationship with your God.

How firm a foundation, ye Saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in his excellent word!
What more can he say than to you he hath said,
Who unto the Savior, who unto the Savior,
Who unto the Savior for refuge have fled?

In ev’ry condition—in sickness, in health,
In poverty’s vale or abounding in wealth,
At home or abroad, on the land or the sea—
As thy days may demand, as thy days may demand,
As thy days may demand, so thy succor shall be.

Fear not, I am with thee; oh, be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid.
I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by my righteous, upheld by my righteous,
Upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.

When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of sorrow shall not thee o’erflow,
For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,
And sanctify to thee, and sanctify to thee,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.

When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,
My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply.
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume, thy dross to consume,
Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.

E’en down to old age, all my people shall prove
My sov’reign, eternal, unchangeable love;
And then, when gray hair shall their temples adorn,
Like lambs shall they still, like lambs shall they still,
Like lambs shall they still in my bosom be borne.

The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose
I will not, I cannot, desert to his foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, I’ll never, no never,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake!

Text: Attr. to Robert Keen, ca. 1787. Included in the first LDS hymnbook, 1835.
Music: Attr. to J. Ellis, ca. 1889

If you would like to listen to it, here it is.

Isn’t that beautiful!

What more can He say to me? Really?? He has worked more miracles in our lives than I can even count. Truly, I need to trust Him completely. Why is it so hard to trust and depend on Him? His arm is stronger and more sure than anything I could possible do on my own and yet again and again I try to solve my problems myself.

New goal? Trust that I will be upheld by his righteous, omnipotent hand…and not waver!

Related Posts


  1. jessica

    My baby was so hungry and I was wearing one of those bare-all dresses in church. I was trying to distract him and make it through the blessing and I knew Amy would get up.. then I made my escape just as you were going up! I saw you just as I rounded the corner out to the foyer. I was so glad nobody was in the Mother’s room so I could turn up the sound and hear your sweet testimony. When the congregation started to sing that song I just cried I thought it went so perfectly with your testimony. I sang along in the Mother’s room since nobody else was there. :D

    • tracy

      So did I make any sense at all or did I sound like a bawling lunatic?

    • tracy

      I just love those Sundays I think I can make it through with an incovenient-to-nurse dress on…it NEVER works! What was I thinking even trying it!

  2. Oh Tracy! My name is Emily and I get the priviledge of working with Richard at Edgemont. He told me about your website and I love love love it! Thanks for sharing. I cried when I read this post. Its been a rough school year. Like you and Richard I try and try and it doesnt seem like enough. Thanks for reminding me that Jesus will uphold me!

    • tracy

      Welcome Emily! I’m glad you are getting some benefit from my words. It is very therapeutic for me to write, but I really hope it is blessing others on their journeys as well. He told me you are reading my blog…hopefully I won’t embarrass him too badly to his co-workers!

      I went and splurged on some groceries tonight…I needed cashews and kiwis for a recipe I want to try tomorrow and on the way home I sang “How Firm a Foundation” at the top of my lungs. It was wonderful to hear myself belt out those beautiful truths.