Horatio Spafford, writer behind the well renowned hymn, It is well with my soul, speaks to the very reason for our human existence.
When you learn about the origin of the hymn, you come to realize that Spafford understood well; he understood the meaning to life for he did not place his hope in this life, but rather, he placed it in the one to come.
After the Great Chicago fire put Spafford in financial ruin, he would go on to lose his four daughters at sea, his wife the only survivor. Rather than cursing God, and believing that His Creator had turned against him, he 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 know
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
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.
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.
Closing my eyes, the waves mist on my face, I find in the pain and sorrow the same words that guided Spafford through this temporary life.
I know that my social media accounts make it appear that my life is picturesque; however, the true reality is that life’s recent circumstances have had me riding through a deep and billowing storm.
(This, my friends, is a quick reminder to us all. We are living in a world where pain, sin, and sorrow exist, so do not be quick to judge one another’s lives based off of ten seconds of Instagram bliss.)
My apologies for the interjection, but I had to speak of the silence that exists between each social media post, a reality for us all. While I am not here to write of the recent and current storms that I have been riding in(there is a different time and place for that), I am here to say that through it all, at the end of the day, it is well with my soul.
It is apart of human tradition. When we greet one another, we ask how the other is doing. My usual response is “Wonderful, thank you.” I had a friend once say to me, “You are always doing well whenever I ask. Is there ever a time when you aren’t well?” It was a funny question, really, but then it made me think, a thought that took me to the foot of the King’s throne room, and to the words of a theologian.
I have found a desire within myself that no experience in this world can satisfy; the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world. -C.S. Lewis
He has given me everlasting life. How can I not be well?
For the peace and fulfillment of Jesus Christ has filled my soul with a deep and abiding joy; with great hope for the world to come, and great peace for the promises that He has given you and I. So, with all of this in mind, I have written quite a short poem, in an effort to capture what this phrase means: it is well with my soul.
Like stained glass
My tears make a mark
Like prison walls
My hands grasp for an escape
The thickening fog
Has yet to melt with fear
A lightning bolt
Has spent chills through my spine
And, deep thunder
Has the crewmen in an uproar
Yet, it is there
There that I find
In the deep recesses of my soul
For stained tears on shipyard’s deck
Begin to sing a melody in return
An inevitable melody
That anchors my soul
Song easily escapes
In the midst of the calm
Yet, even now,
I have found it
I have found life’s song
Never to be taken for granted
Reminds me once again
For He has taught me to sing
It is well,
It is well with my soul.