Monday, October 27, 2014

Is it really well?

There is an album of hymns I listen to almost every day at work on my ipod, as background music to drown out the music coming over the speakers. Piano, no voice, turned down very low, so it doesn’t distract me. Even so, the words to the hymns often come to mind. Today I found myself arguing with the song “It is Well”. No, it is not well. Life is not well right now in any sense of my understanding. It’s tough. It’s hard. It hurts more than I can say. Everywhere I look I see myself being run over, and throughout the whole world the innocent being trampled. It’s not fair. But I do trust God. How can I reconcile that? Is God all powerful? Is God Sovereign? Is God good? Those three things can’t all be true, can they? But I believe they are. As the argument went back and forth in my heart and mind, and my hands did their job automatically, the music to the song resounded in my ears… it is well with my soul. With my soul. Oh my. That’s it. No, it is not well with my life. But yes, it is definitely well with my soul. My soul has been rescued by God. (Psalm 18:19) One day my body will be too, and that is what I wait for. But right now, yes, even now, it is well with my soul.

And suddenly I am beginning to understand being afflicted but not crushed, perplexed but not driven to despair, persecuted but not forsaken, struck down but not destroyed. I understand, at least a little bit, the groaning of this life being swallowed up by the life to come. I understand the command to be thankful and rejoice even in the suffering, and am learning to wait for the hope of Christ. (Romans 5:1-5, II Corinthians 5:4-5, II Corinthians 4:6-11)
I see it, I experience it, I understand it just a little bit, but I cannot begin to explain it. So I will just read it from Paul and sing it with Spafford and the Gaithers.

It Is Well with My Soul

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.

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!

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.

But, Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!
Blessed hope, blessed rest of 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.


©Rebecca A Givens, 10/27/14