It is well with my soul

I have no idea where to start here really. It’s been another emotional week. I guess what I want to say is that through everything there is one thing that is sure and certain. My Jesus loves me and will never leave me. The last few months have been so turbulent in some ways and there have been days when literally all I could do was whisper ‘Help me Jesus’ over and over. I guess if you don’t have faith you’ll have a psychological reason why that helps. For me it’s very real. I feel His presence as real and close as any human in those moments and I know He’s carrying me.

The_sinking_of_the_Steamship_Ville_du_Havre.jpg

I was at a funeral yesterday of a lovely, godly woman who I’ve known for many years and they played a song (twice) that always gets me emotional – ‘It is well with my soul’. I don’t know if you know the story of Horatio Spafford who wrote the lyrics of this hymn? He lived in the 1800s and was a prominent American lawyer (according to Wikipedia). It seems that literally everything started to go wrong in his life. He lost most of his investment portfolio in the Great Fire of Chicago and two years later his 4 year old son died from scarlet fever. On 22 November 1873 (exactly 100 years before I was born) his four daughters lost their lives while crossing the Atlantic on the steamship Ville du Havre. It was following all this that Horatio wrote these words:

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.

Refrain:
It is well with my soul,
It is well, it is well with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ hath 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!

And Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

I don’t know about you but knowing his story those words get me every time.  I’m sure there must be a few people out there have stories that are similar to Horatio Spafford’s but I guess for most of us whatever we’re going through it’s not going to be anything like losing almost everything we have including five children (it reminds me of Job in the Bible).  I can’t begin to imagine how horrific that must be and sometimes I think I’ve been going through a tough time!  And to still be able to write ‘It is well with my soul’ – I can only imagine he must have been really leaning on and clinging to Jesus in that horrendous season.

My go to when I’m struggling is to get my guitar out and sing (sometimes it’s pretty hard to sing for crying but God doesn’t care – He knows my heart). A couple of songs that have meant a lot to me recently include the words of this hymn. One is Even If by Mercy Me:

I’ve also been playing ‘It is Well – Grander Earth has Quaked Before’.

Yesterday the song that I was really relating to was ‘Thy Will be Done’ by Hillary Scott and the Scott Family which doesn’t mention ‘It is well’ but still has a great message IMO:

For me really leaning on Jesus and giving him praise in spite of whatever difficulties I have going on in my life can get me through so much.  It goes beyond my understanding (not that that’s hard 😜) but if you’re struggling with anything right now I’d totally recommend you give it a try.

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