Saturday, September 5, 2009

It Is Well

I have often joked that my spiritual decline happened when my beloved, favorite study Bible was stolen from my '67 Mustang. I know that wasn't the reason for my slow detachment to following Christ wholeheartedly (if I ever WAS following wholeheartedly) but it did seem to at least symbolically mark when I first realized I was letting things slide. I still never "fell away" in ways that are considered bad; it was just that I started not reading the Bible daily and I just knew things were not where it should be. I kinda thought I'd just "fix it" later. Of course, I never did.

Truly though, this Bible was so very special to me. I had won it in jr. high with a few others by memorizing verses, doing community outreaches (I scrubbed a shower, weeded a yard) and, my speciality: Perfect Attendance. It was a Thompson Chain Reference study Bible and I thought it was the best thing ever. Words can't describe how much I loved that Bible and how much I loved to study it. Subsequently I'd spend my allowance buying other study aids: commentaries, concordances, Bible dictionaries.... etc.

Although today I rarely write in books or my Bible, back then I'd highlight things, put dates next to favorite verses, recorded answers to prayer, favorite sermon notes and quotes, words to songs and hymns I loved. I traveled on drama tours out of state and would pick flowers, poppies, and rose petals and press the flowers in my Bible. It was filled with all kinds of surprises and they all meant so much to me!

I can't recall all the quotes, poems, sermon notes, and the like that were tucked away in that beloved Bible of my youth, and I know that perhaps I valued IT more than the words that in contained; I realize that. This past year I bought a new study Bible that I love. Have I written in it? Nope. Not sure I will but I still love it for what it contains, not my notes or memories.

The other night I was chatting with a friend about old hymns and the wonderful, inspiring stories that often accompany them. One of my favorite hymns is It Is Well With My Soul by Horatio Spafford, which of course, was one of the hymns written in my Bible.

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, 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 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.

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 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.

Horatio Spafford

The touching part to me is that Horatio Spafford suffered many losses, the death of his son, the great Chicago Fire which ruined him financially. (he was a lawyer) Then in 1873 he was supposed to travel to Europe with his family via a ship but had to tend to business so his wife and 4 daughters went on ahead of him on this ship that sank while crossing the Atlantic. His daughters all died but his wife survived and sent him a now famous telegram that simply read "Saved alone." The story goes that he then traveled to meet his wife and en route on a ship to her, at the place where his daughters died, he wrote the words to this hymn.

Psalm 46:1 "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble."

Care to share any of your thoughts?

1 comment:

  1. I love how the light captured little bits of pink sprinkled about on the waves....Awesome picture girlie

    Trina and Jophie