“Dear Refuge of My Weary Soul”

Hymn author Anne Steele’s life was one marked with suffering and loss. She lost her mother at age three, a potential suitor at age 20, her stepmother at 43 and her sister-in-law at age 45. She was sole care-giver for her father until his death in 1769. Throughout her life she exhibited symptoms of malaria, including persistent pain, fever, and headaches. She was bedridden for “some years” before her death.

Her life of suffering gave rise to one of her most enduring hymns, Dear Refuge of Our Weary Soul. In it, like in the lament of the psalter, she passionately yet confidently pours out her soul to the Lord. The opening line reflects Psalm 46:1, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”

We can likewise call upon the Lord in our circumstances. We can, as Steele counsels the hurting in this powerful hymn, patiently wait with hope while seeking refuge in the God of mercy.

Dear refuge of my weary soul,
on Thee, when sorrows rise,
On Thee, when waves of trouble roll,
my fainting hope relies.
To Thee I tell each rising grief,
for Thou alone canst heal;
Thy Word can bring a sweet relief
for every pain I feel.

Visit Matt Merker Music for lyrics and song sheet.