Pinterest A Grateful Life Lived: It is Well With My Soul

Monday, January 19, 2015

It is Well With My Soul

If you've grown up in the church, you've most likely heard this old hymn.  If you haven't, you still might recognize the powerful lyrics from this Philip Bliss song, written in 1876.  What you may not know,  however,  is the story behind it.  I had heard a little about the story in church a while ago, but really wanted to know the full story.  Turns out: Is is gut-wrenching and beautiful.

Young Horatio Spafford
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The famed lyrics, "When sorrow like sea billows roll; it is well, it is well with my soul," were originally written by Horatio Spafford, a wealthy lawyer and dear friend of D.L Moody and many other well-known Christians.  First, his son tragically died.  Then, The Great Chicago Fire destroyed most of Horatio's investments.  Shortly after, he decided to take a boat trip with his wife and four daughters as a way to heal and recover from the sadness.  On the day of the trip, the women went ahead and Horatio p

lanned to follow after he'd finished some last minute business.  Before he could join them, however, he received notice that the ship had wrecked and all four of his daughters drowned.

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My heart aches just writing that story.  I cannot imagine the deep sorrow Horatio endured as he hugged his wife and they returned to an empty home.  Walls that once echoed with children's laughter must have grown eerily quiet, only reverberating the deep sobs of a mother and father who had lost all their children.

I have never lost an immediate family member.  I certainly have never lost a child.  Yet, I did watch as my uncle fought cancer and said his goodbyes to this world (RELATED: My Uncle and the Seagull Lady).   And I have fought through the hopelessness of divorce, and I am fighting through the despair of an eating disorder (RELATED: Let's Talk about Eating Disorders).  I grieved with our nation after 9/11 and the Tragedy at the Boston Marathon.

We all have our storms.

Maybe you've lost a loved one recently or are going through a divorce.  Perhaps you have hit rock bottom and you're wondering how you could possibly still be falling.  We live in a broken world and as a result, we become broken.  We get battered and beat up and bruised as we make out way through the thickets.  But it doesn't end there.

What is so amazing about Horatio Spafford is that he was able to latch onto hope.  Oh how I wish I were that quick to see the face of God in the middle of the desert.  Horatio got it.  He seems to have understood the great message of the gospel: Because Jesus overcomes, so can we.

Because He died on the cross and rose again, you can trust that somehow you will pay your rent.  You can get out of bed even though you feel helplessly alone and the empty seat at the table still taunts you.  You can- like I can- wake up and declare that today is a new day and you are free of any lies that have taken hold of your life.  Point blank: You can be at peace.

I don't know where your heart is today, or where you place your trust.  But I do know that if you are leaning in on Jesus, you will weather the storm.  The God who walks on water is right beside you and He has paved the way for your eternity with Him.  Better yet: That eternity starts right now.  Jesus offers a soul peace in this very moment.  "Though sorrows like sea billows roll," when you place your foundation on Christ, your soul- the essence of your being- is well.  Even if you can't see beyond the next five minutes, it is well with your soul.

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I don't know about you, but that knowledge gives me both hope and perspective today.  After a crappy weekend of good intentions and mistakes, I find it so easy to beat myself up and hop back on the train toward captivity to sin and despair.  But every day is a new day and at the core, I know that nothing in this world can shake me.  My foundation is secure.  My prayer is that you will place your foundation in Christ, if it is not, and praise the Lord in realizing that He is ever present in the raging whirlwinds of life.

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