Some of you may be thinking of the 1986 Rob Reiner film Stand by Me.  In the film four boys set out on an adventure to find the body of their dead friend.  It’s a journey about figuring out what friendship is all about.

But, that’s not what I had in mind.  I was actually thinking about Charles Albert Tindley’s hymn Stand by Me.  It’s appropriately listed under “strength in tribulation” in the United Methodist Hymnal (number 512, in case you were wondering).

It’s been a rough couple of days.  I’ve been learning things about my family history, mainly medical.  Things I might got simply because of genes.  Some of it is related to my heart.  Those of you who know me well know that I’ve been here before.  Two years ago this month I learned that I have a mitral valve prolapse.  Basically, I got a valve that doesn’t work like it should.

While learning these things are important, it is still horribly difficult.  It’s hard to change habits.  It’s scary not knowing what might be.  It’s frustrating when you find yourself dealing with something you had no control over.

Today, driving home for lunch, my iPod, which has a totally random collection of music, was on shuffle.  The song that spoke to me – cause that’s what music does to us – was this hymn, Stand by Me.  The legendary bass singer of the The Cathedrals, George Younce, sings it the best I have heard it.  His deep voice sings it as a prayer, asking God to stand by  him in the midst of life’s storms, tribulation, failures, and persecutions.

And I’m reminded, that no mater what storms of life, tribulations, faults and failures, or persecutions I may face, the Lily of the Valley, the Bright and Morning Star, rises with me each new day and stands by me.  And I am thankful.