Lord, Stand By Me

Chaplain Gary W. Yarbrough, DMin, BCC
Shelby Baptist Medical Center

I am often fascinated by the stories behind the songs we sing.  Sometimes, I think my parents took me to church the day after I was born.  My earliest childhood memory is not from home, but being in a toddler class at church. All I remember is the singing; no specific song… just the singing.  So, it’s rather natural for me as I walk the hallways and go in and out of patients’ rooms and waiting areas that a song will come to my heart, mind and spirit.  Often, one song will stay with me the entire day.

 Not long ago, an African-American spiritual came to mind.  It was written by the Rev. Dr. Charles Albert Tindley in 1905.  You might like his story, too.  He once worked as a custodian at a church before he became their pastor! 

He wrote the gospel song “Lord, Stand By Me” which the more popular song “Stand by Me” for the soundtrack of the 1986 movie “Stand by Me” is based.

As I was making rounds that morning, a couple of the verses from Charles Tindley’s (1851-1933) song came to mind:

“When the storm of life is raging, Stand by me…

When the world is tossing me like a ship upon the sea;

Thou who rulest wind and water, Stand by me.


In the midst of tribulation, Stand by me…

When the hosts of hell assail and my strength begins to fail;

Thou who never lost a battle, Stand by me.


In the midst of faults and failures, Stand by me…

When I do the best I can and my friends misunderstand;

Thou who knowest all about me, Stand by me.”


So, today I don’t know about your physical, emotional, mental or spiritual needs, but I know the ONE who does.  And, He is here today to stand with you and be with you as you cast all your cares upon Him (I Peter 5:7).

Prayer: LORD, hear our prayers today whether they come to you in the form of words, tears or silence.  As we draw near in faith to you, draw near to us: show us your ways and grant to us your peace.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.


Stay connected to Baptist Health System through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, & Linkedin.