Every morning after my yawning, stretching, and rubbing of the eyes, I hop out of bed to see the carefully painted wood sign sitting atop my dresser.
“It is well with my soul.”
Those words to the familiar hymn stare back at me. As I read those piercing words, I feel a little tug at my heart as if they are reminding me to cling to the truth of their powerful message as I try to stay afloat during the craziness of the day.
I love that familiar hymn, but all too often I am ashamed to say I struggle to believe those convicting lyrics.
Let’s all be honest. Life is tough!
So many unplanned events and circumstances come blowing our way and seem to throw our all-too-sensitive ships off course. I find my mind whirling with questions that I have no right answer to…or so I thought.
- Why have the lives of some very good Christian people been cut short by horrible illnesses?
- Why did my faithful, hard-working friend lose her job?
- Why is one of the most kindhearted people I know suffering from traumatizing health problems?
- Why when I worked so hard to reach out to someone did they just walk away?
- Why didn’t that seemingly perfect job work out?
Then I realized the answer.
The answer is God.
Wait a minute…God?! Yes, God! God has a bigger plan and purpose for our lives than we could ever imagine.
We don’t always understand the purpose, but the times of trial are to accomplish a greater good. If things were always smooth sailing, how would we ever learn to develop that faith with “nothing wavering” mentioned in James 1:6?
We don’t have all the answers, but God does.
He wants to mold us into the strong people that He wants us to be for His perfect plan and teach us to trust Him with NO exceptions. Like a potter has to put the clay through a process of working, reworking, and firing to fix the imperfections.
God puts us “through the fire” to mold and make us. If you’re experiencing a tough life right now, that may be why.
Rather than asking “Why?” in the storms, we should ask, “God, what do you want me to learn?”
I love the story in the John 4 when the woman of Samaria (the woman at the well) finds Jesus. Jesus, speaking to the woman about the drinking water in the well says, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
If we find ourselves overwhelmed with the “whys?” of life, maybe we’re not drinking from the right well.
God is an everlasting fountain flowing with salvation, love, wisdom, strength, peace, hope, and joy for the difficult journey called life, but too often we neglect to “drink” from Him.
Why don’t we cling to His promises? He says in Isaiah 26:3, “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” If we truly seek God, He will grant us that perfect peace that He promises that will allow us to truly say, “It is well with my soul,” regardless of what storms we might be facing.
You see, happiness comes and goes depending on circumstances, but joy found in Christ is lasting!
The lyrics of the hymn were so beautifully penned by the wealthy, Chicago lawyer, Horatio Spafford, after losing his young son, facing a fire that destroyed almost every real estate investment he had, and receiving news that his four daughters had drowned in a ship collision.
Despite his tragic circumstances he chose to trust God. The lyrics of his powerful song now give hope to countless thousands around the world who lift their voices to sing them.
Life is tough, but God is tougher. Will you trust Him?
Which well are you drinking from today? The well that that flows from your emotional, unstable mind? Or the abundant, stable well of Jesus Christ that offers peace that “passes all understanding?”
If we truly learned to cling to Christ during every trial and storm, I believe it would change our entire lives! Then and only then, will we have the courage and strength to say, “It is well with my soul.”
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