Till the storm passes by

Til the Storm Passes ByWords and Music by Mosie Lister

In the dark of the midnight,
Have I oft hid my face;
While the storm howls above me,
And there’s no hiding place;
‘Mid the crash of the thunder,
Precious Lord, hear my cry;
“Keep me safe ’til the storm passes by.”

‘Til the storm passes over,
‘Til the thunder sounds no more;
‘Til the clouds roll forever from the sky,
Hold me fast, let me stand,
In the hollow of Thy hand;
Keep me safe ’til the storm passes by.

Many times Satan whispers,
“There is no need to try;
For there’s no end of sorrow,
There’s no hope by and by”;
But I know Thou art with me,
And tomorrow I’ll rise;
Where the storms never darken the skies.

‘Til the storm passes over,
‘Til the thunder sounds no more;
‘Til the clouds roll forever from the sky,
Hold me fast, let me stand,
In the hollow of Thy hand;
Keep me safe ’til the storm passes by.

When the long night has ended,
And the storms come no more,
Let me stand in Thy presence.
On that bright, peaceful shore.
In that land where the tempest
Never comes, Lord may I
Dwell with Thee when the storm passes by.

‘Til the storm passes over,
‘Til the thunder sounds no more;
‘Til the clouds roll forever from the sky,
Hold me fast, let me stand,
In the hollow of Thy hand;
Keep me safe ’til the storm passes by.

Hold me fast, Let me stand,
In the hollow of Thy hand;
Keep me safe ’til the storm passes by.

‘Til the storm passes by.

Keep Me Safe Till the Storm Passes By

There are some things you learn best in calm, and others in storm. I have had my storms of life and out of them have come great lessons. Because of the storms of life I have observed that birds sing after a storm and I ask; why shouldn’t I feel as free to delight in whatever remains of me after the storm. Well, I will say of the LORD, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust. I will follow the example of Moses in Psalm 91.

It’s comforting to have someone to walk with when the raindrops start falling. My wife relied on me for wisdom when we saw the storm coming one day driving through rain. We need to rely on someone when darkness rolls in.

Today’s hymn is inspired by events that have been going on in my life of late. I have appreciated that marriage is not just a label. It remains a transformative act—marriage not only names a relationship but it creates a relationship between two people, one that is acknowledged not just by the couple itself, but by the couple’s kin, friends, religious community and larger society. But beyond all that you tend to influence each other. Enid my wife really loves  Psalm 91 and it has become so close to our hearts and prayer life. We have prayed through this Psalm as a couple and together with our children.  Psalm 91 is one of the most excellent works of poetry and it is impossible to imagine anything more solid, more beautiful, more profound, or more ornamented than this.

The hymn -Till the Storm Passes By echoes the promise of God to Israel in Isaiah 43:2: “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you”. This assurance came in the midst of threatening clouds of judgment. It was the proverbial silver lining that the people could look for when the tempest came.

The best part of the promise was that God not only said they would make it through, but that He would go with them! There was no fear of loneliness!

Proverbs 14:10 says, “Each heart knows its own bitterness, and no one else can share its joy”. Intimate though we may be with another person, there are joys, sorrows, and circumstances we can only face alone. The doctor won’t operate on you and your spouse together. No one serves prison time with a friend. As much as you’d love to change places with your sick child, you can’t. When you are rejected by men, you cannot cut the pain in half and give it to someone else to bear.

As discouraging as that sounds, it is not entirely true for the child of God. Listen to the words of Jesus: “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). We promise our loved ones that we will stick by them, but we can’t always be there. Not so with Jesus. He is with us always!

“But no one knows what I’m passing through!” you might cry. Take comfort in Hebrews 4:15: “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin.” Trials are fertile breeding grounds for sinful responses. Jesus knows that and has proclaimed victory for us: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

Holding hands is one of the most intimate forms of communication. It says, “I care enough to identify with you—we walk together.” Listen to King David: “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me” (Psalm 23:4, KJV). Only God can walk that loneliest of paths with you: “For I, the LORD your God, will hold your right hand, saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you.’” (Isaiah 41:13).

The Christian need never fear the cumulonimbus clouds that inevitably darken our days. Retreating from storms only makes them longer. Standing still in fear gets you nowhere, but gets you wet. In faith, we can face the gales head on and walk through them, knowing that God in Christ is not only cheering us on, but walking through the trials with us.

The Story behind the hymn

The Hymn Till the Storm passes by was written by Mosie Lister and was originally intended for Mahalia Jackson but it never reached her. A man who was well acquainted with Mosie Lister asked him to write a song for Mahalia Jackson who at that time was well known for her rendition of the song He’s got the whole world. About this song, Mosie says that because he grew up among the minority groups especially the African Americans, he had an idea about the background of Mahalia and wanted to write a song that would be a prayer for a person who has undergone struggles in life.

Well, our plans are not God’s plans, the man who asked for the song to be written never got it to Mahalia, but it was written and many other people have actually been blessed with it.

About The Hymn Writer Mosie Lister

Lister was born and raised in Cochran, Georgia, and studied English and music in college. By the late 1940s, he had worked with a number of groups including a brief tenure as an original member of the Statesmen Quartet. As his career took off and his songs began to find favor, he retired from touring to spend more time songwriting. In 1953, he founded his own Mosie Lister Publishing Company.

Mosie Lister  became a household name thanks to his talented songwriting and singing. He is the author of such songs as “Til The Storm Passes By,” “Goodbye World Goodbye,” “Where No One Stands Alone,” “I’m Feelin’ Fine,” “How Long Has It Been,” “Happy Rhythm” and many, many more, this 91-year-old songwriter is well deserving of his induction into the Gospel Music Association Hall of Fame in 1976 and the Southern Gospel Music Association Hall Of Fame in 1997.

In 1939, Mosie Lister studied music at the Vaughan School Of Music in Tennessee. He began his musical career as a singer, performing as an original member of the Sunny South Quartet before World War II. After a four year stint with the Navy, he worked a few months again with the Sunny South Quartet before leaving to form the Melody Masters with Jim Wetherington, Alvin Tootle, Lee Kitchens, and Wally Varner in 1946. Lister remained in Atlanta when the Melody Masters moved to Lincoln, Nebraska. In 1948, Lister was tapped by Hovie Lister to be the original baritone for the Statesmen. (Despite their common last name, similar first names and involvement with the Statesmen, Mosie is no relation to Hovie).

Lister soon gave up his professional singing career to devote his attention to writing, continuing to work as an arranger for the Statesmen. In 1953, he formed the Mosie Lister Publishing Company. Some of Lister’s better known tunes include “Then I Met The Master,” “I’m Feelin’ Fine,” “His Hand In Mine,” and “’Til The Storm Passes By.”

Lister was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall Of Fame in 1976 and into the SGMA Hall Of Fame in 1997. Over the years, Lister also became a popular arranger of choral music for Lillenas Publishing. He has continued to write songs for popular Southern Gospel groups in the early 21st century. The Dove Brothers, Booth Brothers, and Palmetto State Quartet are just a few of the modern groups to recorded songs written by Lister. The Dove Brothers released a project titled A Tribute To Mosie Lister in 2004, which Lister also produced.

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