Friday, April 25, 2008

It is well with my soul

When Horatio Spafford first penned It is Well With My Soul, by all accounts the message of the hymn shouldn't have been his own. His business was lost in the Great Chicago Fire. His daughters were lost at sea, due to a collision with another ship. He had every right, so it seemed, to be "unwell" in his soul. Yet this was not the case.

For though he suffered greatly, he served a greater God, and truly he could say "It is well with my soul." In the midst of his hardest trials, he experienced God's richest love and grace.

When thieves broke into my house several months ago and took practically everything of value I owned, I too, could say "It is well with my soul".

Now, I'll easily admit that losing your business and your family is much, much worse than losing a computer, a printer, and a digital camera (among other things). But it really doesn't matter what the difficulty is, we all face times of wondering where God is, and why is this happening to me. Feelings like that are natural. Believe me, I know. I have never felt so violated as I did standing in my room with the police, looking over the mess the robbers left behind. I have never felt so confused over what would I do, and why did God let this happen? But even in the midst of it, I could truly say "It is well with my soul." Not because I'm some sort of super spiritual person (I'm not), but because of His calming presence, and the knowledge that He's in control, and He knows what He's doing. He promised to never leave me or forsake me. And that's a much better thing to have than a computer (though of course I still had to get another one).

There's a quote on faith by Charles Spurgeon that God often brings to mind, when I'm struggling with trusting Him:

"Faith is deliberate confidence in the character of God, who's ways you may not understand at the time."

So when I'm in the middle of difficulty, and wondering why things happened as they did, I can still have that peace and wellness of soul, confident that because God's character is all goodness, what He allows in my life, no matter how hard, will ultimately be all goodness too.

And I praise Him for that.


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