Tuesday, September 1, 2009

is it well? / well it is / it is well!

What happens when it all goes wrong. No, seriously...in a non religious / reality based way, how do we respond to the great ripping and ravaging pain of life. It seems like people can turn to God or run away when the pain really goes deep. Is God of any practical help when your guts are totally kicked out and you and your faith are left mangled on the floor?

So there you are with your spouse burying your 1st child...and then you are standing with them looking over the ashes of your home with no insurance almost all of your personal assets liquified in flames...finally you send your wife and 4 daughters to visit family. They leave on a ship, which encounters a storm...and you get a text message that says...saved....alone... what would you do...what would faith mean? Can you stand in those shoes for just a minute and feel the sickening nausea fill you up. Your chest tightens...you scream...tears break out and explode across your face. And your heart and mind start racing, and grieving, and searching for an answer...a reason...something to hold unto. and on the airplane flight out to be with your wife what would you be thinking, feeling...what would you tell her. This is what Horatio Spafford wrote...this was the comfort he gave his wife...this is what faith meant to him when his life was shattered.... this is a true story, from one of my brothers in my faith

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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."
Though Satan should buffet, tho' 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.
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.
It is well with my soul,
It is well, it is well with my soul.

Horatio G. Spafford was an attorney in Chicago during the year of 1874. He and his family were members of the Fullerton Avenue Presbyterian Church. Spafford and his wife had learned what it meant to completely trust God in every situation. First their only son died and then in 1871 most of their personal property were burned in the great Chicago fire. But their greatest testing came in 1874. Mrs. Spafford and their four daughters boarded the French ship "Villa de Havre" on their way to England. But just off the coast of Ireland the ship sank with 226 persons losing their lives. Horatio finally received a cable sent by his wife. It read "saved alone." As he traveled to England to comfort his wife, he was able again to gain his strength from God with the verse, "All things work together for good to them that love the Lord" (Rom 8:28) He then penned the words to our hymn "It Is Well with My Soul." (The tune was written by Phillip Bliss)

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