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HYMN 13 Day by Day

Updated: May 3, 2020

Swedish: Blott en Dag

Deuteronomy 33:32

Lina Sandell

Text: Lina Sandell (1832-1903) TUNE: Oskar Ahnfelt (18

1 Day by day and with each passing moment,

Strength I find to meet my trials here;

Trusting in my Father’s wise bestowment,

I’ve no cause for worry or for fear.

He, whose heart is kind beyond all measure,

Gives unto each day what he deems best,

Lovingly its part of pain and pleasure,

Mingling toil with peace and rest.

2. Ev’ry day the Lord himself is near me,

With a special mercy for each hour;

All my cares he fain would bear and cheer me,

He whose name is Counselor and Pow’r.

The protection of his child and treasure

Is a charge that on himself he laid:

“As thy days, thy strength shall be in measure,”

This the pledge to me he made.

3. Help me then in ev’ry tribulation

So to trust thy promises, O Lord,

That I lose not faith’s sweet consolation,

Offered me within your holy Word.

Help me, Lord, when toil and trouble meeting,

E’er to take, as from a father’s hand,

One by one, the days, the moments fleeting,

Till I reach the promised land.

Tr. A. Skoog


You can hoard toilet paper, but you cannot hoard grace. The Israelites discovered

this wandering in the desert. They received enough manna from heaven every day. If they

hoarded it, however, it would go bad. God sees that we receive just what we need every day. A cup that is full cannot receive more.

It was this truth that moved Lina Sandell to write this hymn. She wrote it after

seeing a tale in an English Sunday school magazine she had read in the mid 1860s. A

big grandfather’s clock sat in the parlor, ticking away. Suddenly the pendulum said,

“I can’t do this anymore. Back and forth, back and forth, billions of times, again and

again. It is too much.”

The hour hand heard the complaint and thought about it for a bit and then replied,

“But you only have to do so one more time. You can do that.”

One more time seemed doable, as opposed to worrying about being able to do so

billions more times. The pendulum would receive strength for that one more time

over and over again.

Jesus said the same in the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 6:34, when he consoled

the anxious, “Do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for

itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. Or as the Norwegian proverb has it,

“Den dag, den sorg.” (that day, that sorrow.)

Sandell, who wrote “Children of the Heavenly Father” (See Hymnblog 4), wrote this

in 1865 when she was working as a young single woman in Stockholm. Her gifts,

apparent to all, gave the Swedish pastors who knew her courage to recommend

against all conventional thinking that she work at the publishing house of the

Rosenius revival, Evangeliska Fosterlands-Stiftelsen.

She knew her Lord well enough to know that grace is given in full measure every

day and replenished as need be. She had plenty to worry about with her own poor

health and the struggles of her siblings with the illness and deaths of their own. She

trusted the promise in Deuteronomy 33:25, “As thy day is, so shall thy strength be.”

Even as we fret about what might be coming, and say with the pendulum, It is too

much, Sandell shows us we can be thankful for “faith’s sweet consolation Offered in

God’s Holy Word,” the storehouse from which God provides. As we close each day,

we can remark with gratitude and surprise how we have received consolations, one

by one, from our Father, exactly enough for the day.


The Swedish Troubadour Oskar Ahnfelt (1811-) pestered Sandell for texts, fortunately. This

tune sings with the confident sweet beauty that helped to make the hymn one of the most beloved hymns in Scandinavia and in America.


English choir version—with Skoog’s translation. I am using this for copyright

reasons. It is also the closest to the original.

Carola in Swedish with Iver Kleive on keyboard

Aage Kvalbein and Kleive in a cello and piano version

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