We pray this letter finds your health and your spirit doing well. Since our last blog, the biggest change we have seen is more cases of COVID-19 in our community and a “stay safe at home” order from our elected officials. Perhaps you are left thinking “it is NOT well with my soul”. Maybe the changes we are experiencing have left some feeling cooped up or frustrated. That is easily understood, but friends I cannot but help feel like singing that classic hymn, “it is well, it is well, with my soul.” Some of us may think that is a silly thing to feel like things are well during a pandemic.
The lyrics were written in the late 1800’s by Horatio Spafford. He was a successful lawyer, married with five children, one boy and four girls. They were living the dream and had every reason to think things were well with their soul. Then in 1870, his only son died from Scarlet Fever at the age of four. A year later they lost all their belongings and real estate in the Chicago Fire.
In 1873, Horatio decided to take his wife and four daughters on a vacation to England. As they were boarding the boat Horatio’s work forced him to stay behind. He said goodbye the girls and made plans catch up with them once work was finished. On November 2nd, 1873 the boat Horatio’s family was on collided with another English vessel and it sunk claiming the lives of all four of his daughters.
When he heard from his wife the news he boarded the next ship to meet up with his grieving wife. As their ship passed the site of where Horatio’s children died the ship’s captain let Horatio know. Horatio went back to his cabin, picked up a pen and wrote the lyrics to the hymn, “It Is Well”.
Much like the story of Job, Horatio had lost just about everything and yet found the strength to recognize that “it is well with his soul”. The lyrics later shared, “though Satan should buffet, though trials should come, let this blest assurance control. That Christ has regarded my helpless estate, and hath shed His own blood for my soul.”
Yes, these are strange times. Yes, we may feel somewhat restricted to what we can or cannot do, but it is hard to not think that it is well, with our soul. Trials have always come, they will continue to come, and in all trials…God is with us!
In James 1:2-4, we are told the following: “consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” Friends, during these trying times, may we all find joy knowing that endurance comes from our faith. God is working on our behalf. We are not alone.
Even with the physical separation, COVID-19 cannot separate us emotionally or spiritually, “and I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love” (Romans 8:38). Let us know if you are in need of anything or if you just want to talk. Please, know that God is strengthening our community during this time. Our prayers continue for each of you and that we may all be singing “it is well, it is well, with my soul” during this time.
In His Love,
Posted on 27 Mar 2020, 1:37 - Category: Encouragement