All Is Well
Trials come to each of us. We all must endure our seasons of adversity, and most of us realize that the storms in life can teach us a lot in ways other things can’t. For starters, they can build our faith and trust in God. They often keep us “on our knees” in prayer, and that can be a very good thing. But what about when God allows trials into our lives that seem overwhelming and never ending. Think Job. I’m sure Job felt that his trials were unending and overwhelming, and yet he clung to God. Surely St. Paul must have also felt this way. But he also clung to God. Here is what he had to say about God in the good and the bad times in Philippians 4: 11-13.
I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
There are others in the Bible that come immediately to mind — Simon Peter and especially our Lord Jesus — no matter the length or depth or breadth of their trials they clung to God.
In more recent times there is the true story of Horatio G. Spafford. As many of you know, he wrote the hymn, “It Is Well With My Soul”. Do you know anything of the trials he and his wife endured? Let me share this passage from www.hymns.net and give you an idea of the setting for that famous hymn.
Horatio G. Spafford was known as a sincere, devout Christian. He was the father of four daughters, an active member of the Presbyterian church, and a loyal friend and supporter of D. L. Moody and other evangelical leaders of his day.
In November 1873, Spafford decided to take his entire family to Europe for a vacation, intending also to assist Moody in his evangelistic work once he arrived there. However, Spafford was unexpectedly detained in Chicago due to urgent business concerns, but decided to send his family ahead. Midway through the trans-Atlantic voyage, their ship was struck by another vessel and eventually foundered. Spafford’s four daughters—Anna, eleven; Maggie, nine; Bessie, seven; and Tanetta, two—were among the 226 who perished in the aftermath. Mrs. Spafford, one of the few who were spared, sent her husband the heartbreaking telegram: “Saved alone.”
Spafford immediately sailed for England to join his grief-stricken wife. As his ship passed the approximate location where his daughters had drowned, his deep sorrow mingled with his unwavering faith in God’s goodness caused him to compose the following hymn.
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.
Like Horatio Spafford, I believe Job, St. Paul, Simon Peter, and our Lord Jesus would have all been in agreement no matter the storm that raged in their lives they could say, “It is well, it is well, with my soul.” How is this possible you ask?
How can someone be held up to the flame in such extreme ways, and for such prolonged periods and still be at peace in their soul? The answer is they each had a deep, abiding relationship with God. A life of adversity has the potential to make us or break us — to draw us nearer to God or destroy our relationship with him. In the end, we get to choose.
One of my very best friends from high school said to me once, “If I had your life I’d kill myself.” Why would my best friend say such a thing? It doesn’t sound like a very nice thing for a dear friend to say. But she said it because we were so close, and she’d known me since high school. She knew the ins and out of my life. She had been there in some capacity for all the stints in the mental hospitals and the debilitating effects the psychotropic drugs had on me. She’d seen my pain for years as I’d endured the bullying, the eating disorder and the abuse at home. She was privy to intimate details of my married life, and she told me more than once she couldn’t have dealt with so much for so long. Now I don’t consider myself a saint by a mile, but what she didn’t know was that I had a trump card — my relationship with God. It was all I had most of the time. Though I wanted so much more out of life, God was all I had. You could say that it turned out to be all I needed to endure what seemed like adversity that never ended.
Through those years I clung to Jesus, and the love I’d always had for Him. I drew nearer …. and thankfully so did He. Like I said, I don’t believe that is because I am so special, but because of God’s grace. And it is because of God’s grace drawing me into such a deep relationship that I could ever say, “All is well with my soul.”
“All is Well” is the title to Chapter 34 of my memoir, Little Girl Crying. In that last chapter, I speak of all the places I now recognize the Holy Spirit throughout my journey, and all the blessings received from those years of suffering. Yes, suffering indeed has its blessings. For me the greatest is the intimate relationship I have today with the Holy Trinity. I came to know the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in ways I’d likely never have without so many long years of adversity. This is truly God’s doing — His grace at work.
For my new CD, Songs of Praise and Worship from Little Girl Crying, I wrote a song based off Chapter 34 of the book. For those that don’t know, after the healing the poetry poured through me for about two years. I chose some of that inspired poetry and some from the book and created song lyrics. I then found an amazing group of musicians to help me put together my very first music CD! I’ve set up an account with BMI, and with any luck the CD should be released before Christmas. So today I’m excited to share a song from that CD in my very first music video!
The song I am sharing today, “All is Well”, is about being held up to the flame and how that changes you. I believe God allows the trials out of His love for us to shape and mold us into a more perfect likeness of Himself. We never walk alone. God is always with us. Look to Him. Cling to Him. Draw nearer and He will draw near to you — I promise.
Before we get to the music video, I’d like to leave you today with one of my favorite verses — a verse I’ve so often found such comfort in because it always reminds me that nothing that can ever happen that can separate me from the most important thing of all — the love of Christ. With His love and presence with us we can win our battles no matter how long or how wild the storm becomes. We can draw close to our Lord and find His peace and love deep in our soul and say, “Lord, even though circumstances say otherwise You are with me, and so, all is well with my soul.”
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:“For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 35-39
Here is the video! Please let me know what you think in the comments below, and feel free to share. 🙂
In Christ’s love,
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