Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Is It Well With Your 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.

Do the words above sound familiar? I’m sure that many of you recognize these lyrics to one of the classic hymns of the church entitled, “It Is Well With My Soul”. The songwriter was able to pen these words against a backdrop of immense pain and suffering. For those of you not familiar with his story, following is a brief synopsis:

Horatio Spafford was a successful business man who lived during the 1800’s. He was very interested in Christian activities, deeply spiritual, and devoted to the Scriptures. He also had a close relationship with famed evangelist Dwight L. Moody.

However, in the Chicago Fire of 1871, Spafford lost his vast real estate holdings. Sometime later, seeking a restful journey for his family, he sent his wife and children on a ship bound for Europe. He was not able to come due to last minute plans and would join them in a few days.

Unfortunately, the ship carrying the Spafford family collided with another vessel and sank. His four daughters drowned, yet his wife survived. It is believed that on the way to be reunited with his bereaved wife, he wrote this hymn.

What a story! It’s amazing that this grief-stricken father could say that all was well with his soul, in spite of the tremendous loss that had been suffered. Also, this is a testimony of God’s grace comforting a grieving heart.

Most of us have not experienced the degree of pain and loss that the hymn writer endured, yet we all have trials in life that can nearly sap the life out of us, causing us to feel drained, exhausted, and heartbroken. Suffering can come in many forms, relationship woes with spouses, children, parents, family, friends, or confrontations with church members; even a job loss, a medical diagnosis, or a dreaded move can all send our lives into a spin, and have us wondering, “How can I make it?” or ”What do I do?”

The only way we can make it, the only way we know what to do is to focus on Jesus. As Horatio Spafford contemplated the words to the song, his focus was on the Lord, for Christ alone can comfort our aching hearts when life seems too difficult to bear.

My sisters, I don’t know what you are going through, but Our Savior does. When we belong to Him, we can rest in Him. Then we too can say, “It is well with my soul”.

Tho’ Satan should buffet, tho’ trials should come, Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate, And shed His own blood for my soul.
It is well, it is well with my soul.

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