Sunday, April 15, 2018

Sunday Musings - It Is Well With My Soul

When I sat down to create a sample Bible journaling illustration for a workshop a few weeks ago, I felt tired and discouraged and uncertain about my worthiness for sharing the Word. It had been a very long week with my Mama in the hospital and lots of family dynamics that had me feeling a variety of emotions.

So, I did something I caution my class participants about ... I simply pulled out some supplies to create an illustration, thinking about the art and using the templates I had ready for the event the next evening. I grabbed the hymnal I've begun illustrating in and started flipping through the pages, simply looking for a hymn with the word "cross" in the title so I could trace the cross template.

As I did this, I began to pray, honestly just asking the Lord to forgive me for not taking more time to be intentional with my illustration. I  just needed a sample page, anything would do. However, as I flipped through the pages, I stopped at It Is Well With My Soul, and I knew it was the Lord speaking to me, slowing me down, reminding me He was there with me.

Several years ago, I led a class on some famous hymns, and I had learned the story of Horatio Spafford, the writer of this hymn. Horatio and his wife Anna had five children and lived in Chicago in the 1870s. Their son died at a young age and they were facing devastating financial losses due to the fire in Chicago and an economic downturn. They planned to travel to Europe with their four daughters; however, Horatio had to send his family ahead as he dealt with some financial issues.

The ship which his wife and daughters were traveling on collided with another vessel and sank. He received a telegram from his wife, which simply read, "saved alone." On the voyage over to meet his wife, near the place where his daughters had perished, He stood at the rail of the ship and God gave him the words to this beloved hymn. Despite the fact that he had lost all his children and was facing financial ruin, Horatio Spafford was able to say:

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll; Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say, It is well, It is well with my soul.

As I began to trace the cross stencil over this hymn, tears rolled down my face because I knew that even though there were a lot of difficult things happening in my life that week, all was well with my soul and my relationship with the Lord. He was watching over me and comforting me and reminding me that "Christ has regarded my helpless estate, And hath shed His own blood for my soul."

It took a good bit of time to color this page, time spent reflecting on how the Lord speaks to us in so many ways. As Horatio Spafford penned this hymn on that ship over 140 years ago, I doubt he could have imagined that someday the Lord would use those words to comfort me here in Texas .... but God knew. 

Truly, It is well, It is well with my soul!

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