Monday, February 27, 2017

It Is Well With My Soul

I saw this in the clearance section at the store today.  It came home with me.

Horatio G. Spafford was a successful, blessed man.  He had a wife named Anna, 4 daughters, 1 son, and owned a business.  In the space of 2 years, much of his business burned down in the Chicago Fire, his son died from pneumonia, and his 4 daughters drowned when their ship collided with another ship while crossing the Atlantic.  His wife, who was also on the ship, was rescued.  Here is a man who has literally lost everything except his wife.  He had 2 really, really awful years.

Any normal man would rail at God and ask, Why?  Why did You take away everything?  Any normal woman would rail at God and say the same thing.  Yet, somehow, Horatio and Anna were different.  As Anna waited for Horatio to cross the Atlantic to comfort her in her grief, she clung to God's unfailing goodness.  Another of the ship's survivors, Pastor Weiss, later recalled Anna saying, "God gave me four daughters.  Now they have been taken from me.  Someday I will understand why."

As Horatio journeyed across the Atlantic to be at his wife's side, he wrote the words to the hymn,

It Is Well With My Soul

When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll
Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul

Thou Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul

It is well (it is well)
With my soul (with my soul)
It is well, it is well with my soul

For the past week I have been meditating on the words of this hymn.  As my body hurts and my energy fades, it is well with my soul.  As I look around at my messy house, it is well with my soul.  As I have a bunch of things to get done today, it is well with my soul.

Why can I, as a Christian, say with absolute certainty that it is well with my soul regardless of my circumstances?  Because I know that my body, this life, my troubles, and afflictions are all temporary.  The only thing that matters is that my sin is nailed to the cross and I bear it no more.  Today I cannot understand why God has allowed me to walk through the journey of chronic pain.  But I know that one day I will understand why.  And I can rest secure in knowing that in Christ, whatever my lot, it is well with my soul.

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