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Thursday, October 4, 2018

Inspired by . . . Hymns of Faith: It is Well with My Soul

When peace like a river . . .

Do you have peace? Do you long for peace? What sort of peace do you have, what sort do you long for?

Lisa McKay suggests that peace isn't always found in the silence:
“I used to think of peace primarily as a stillness – a pause, a silence, a clarity – but that sort of peace is not the peace of rivers. There is a majestic, hushed sort of calm to rivers, but they are not silent and they are certainly not still – even the most placid of rivers is going somewhere…I’ve stopped expecting peace to look like the pristine silence that follows a midnight snowfall. I’m coming to appreciate a different sort of peace instead – a peace that pushes forward, rich with mud, swelling, and splashing and alive with the music of water meeting rock.” 
Perhaps McKay finds peace in the splashing and swelling because her true peace is found within rather than without. This was certainly true for Horatio Spafford, the author of today's hymn, It is Well with My Soul.

Spafford lost everything in the Chicago fire of 1871. Just three years later, he lost all four of his daughters when the French ocean liner they were traveling on, the S.S. Ville du Harve, sank in just 12 minutes. 

I cannot imagine his pain.

Yet, as he traveled across the Atlantic to join his wife, near the spot where the tragedy occurred, God comforted Spafford, enabling him to write these words:

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."

Where does such a peace come from? Spafford knew without a doubt that Christ had bled and died for his sins. When we admit our sin and repent, embracing the forgiveness that Christ offers, we receive a peace that surpasses all understanding.

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!

The trials still come. We feel pain and experience tragedy but they pale in comparison to the weight of glory we will know when our faith becomes sight.

O Lord, haste the day when my 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.


You can find the entire series here.

You hear the beautiful voices of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sing this hymn here.

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If you read something here that inspired you, I’d love to hear about it. Please know I appreciate every comment! Thanks so much for stopping by! Blessings, June