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Joy in the Mourning

Some thoughts on the words to Taps.
From: “Joy in the Mourning” by Leslie Harder



A few weeks ago, my mind wandered to the words to the song “Taps”. I was thinking about William’s service held eight months ago today and the bugler playing Taps while my sister clasped my shoulder from behind me. I really think, at that moment, God allowed her to hold me in one piece. It was the closest I had felt to coming unglued since it had all started.

I don’t know why the words to “Taps” suddenly became important to me. I went on an internet search, and this is the information in found at

*”There are no official words to the music, but below are some of the more popular verses.” 

“Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hill, From the sky.
All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh.”

When the sun set on August 23, life as I had known it ended. When August 24 dawned, I started a whole new life. And while I didn’t have a choice about starting down this new path, I did have a choice on how I would do it. I could do it in faith, trusting God that all would be well, or could do it in my own strength. I could safely rest in God’s presence, or I could shake my fist at Him and wail about my circumstances. I chose God then, and I choose Him now.

And though my heart was cracking while the bugler was playing, I knew God was near. I felt Him in my sister’s hands when she reached from behind me, clasped my shoulder, and spoke words of comfort to me.

“Thanks and praise, For our days, ‘Neath the sun, ‘Neath the stars, ‘Neath the sky,
As we go, This we know, God is nigh.”

It’s difficult to thank and praise God while you bury your child, but there were things I was grateful for. I was thankful for all the days we did have William. I was thankful that he lived all his life to the fullest. I could praise God that William accepted Jesus as his Savior.

Focusing on all the good things that William brought into our lives helped me feel the nearness of God.

“Fades the light; And afar Goeth day, And the stars Shineth bright,
Fare thee well; Day has gone, Night is on.”

Even though the sun has set on life as I knew it, there are bright points of light that shine through the darkness like stars in the night sky. The loss that those of us who knew and loved William have experienced has drawn us all closer together. It’s loosened our hold on the unimportant things in this life, and made us appreciate the things that truly do matter. It’s drawn us closer to the only One who can comfort us.

And we have learned just how close the night is to the day, and that has given us the courage to use our time more wisely, to love and live more fully.

“Go to sleep, Peaceful sleep, May the Soldier or Sailor, God keep.
On the land or the deep, Safe in sleep.”

One of the most tender moments in a young mother’s life is watching her newborn in sweet slumber. I will never – not EVER – forget my last look at my firstborn, whose mortal frame lay in repose but whose spirit was resting in the bosom of my Father.

He is safe, now and forever.

“Love, good night, Must thou go, When the day, And the night Need thee so?
All is well. Speedeth all
To their rest.”

No matter how much we thought we needed William, we need God more. As long as He is on the throne in our lives, all is well. Storms will come, but the Rock of our salvation will remain, steadfast and immovable.

And one day we, too, will speed to our rest in Him.

from Joy in the Mourning by Leslie Harder.  Used by permission.

One Comment

  1. Bill Seaman Bill Seaman December 22, 2017

    Wow…..Thank you Jari for TFV and allowing me to contribute. I will work hard to get more buglers in Wisconsin and spread the word!



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