It Is Well

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. (2 Corinthians 1:3-5)

Everything seemed to be going well for Horatio Spafford. He was a successful lawyer and businessman and had a young family of seven.

But then everything changed.

Psalm of the Week

Flip open your Bible to the middle and chances are you’ll land in either Psalms or Proverbs. It’s an amazing juxtaposition of books. Psalms is packed with poetry and prayers expressing the heights and depths of human emotion. Flip a few pages and you’re in Proverbs — practical, no-nonsense wisdom for daily living.

Once a week for the next several months, our daily dose will be from one of these two fabulous books. Your heart and brain will thank you.

I could think of no better place to start than Psalm 23. Read it, meditate on it, memorize it, live it.

The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

WALK WITH GOD

It Is Well

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. (2 Corinthians 1:3-5)

Everything seemed to be going well for Horatio Spafford. He was a successful lawyer and businessman and had a young family of six.

But then everything changed.

In 1870, Horatio, Jr., his only son, died of scarlet fever at the age of four. Then, in 1871, the Great Chicago Fire swept through the city and destroyed virtually everything Spafford owned.

In the Fall of 1873, the family decided to take a trip to England for a vacation. Horatio placed his wife, Anna, and their four young daughters, Annie, Maggie, Bessie and Tanetta, aboard the steamship Ville du Havre, sailing from New York City to France. In the early morning hours of November 22, the ship was struck by another vessel. 276 people lost their lives, including all four of the Spaffords’ children.

When Mrs. Spafford arrived in England, she sent her husband a telegram. It said: “Saved alone.”

After spending a night in deep anguish, in the morning Horatio turned to a friend and said, “I am glad to trust the Lord when it will cost me something.” He then journeyed across the Atlantic to meet his wife. As the captain announced that they were passing over the place where the Ville du Havre had been lost, Spafford sat down in his cabin and penned the words to a hymn that would give comfort to many, 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.

(Refrain) It is well (it is well),
With my soul (with my soul),
It is well, it is well with my soul.

Though Satan would buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed his own blood for my soul.
(Refrain)

My sin, oh the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to His cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!
(Refrain)

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.
(Refrain)

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)

How Do You Spell Love?

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,
who comforts us in all our troubles,
so that we can comfort those in any trouble
with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.
(2 Corinthians 1:3-4)

Here is a verbatim transcript of the vast majority of my conversations at work these days . . .

Me (speeding down the hall, usually late for something): “Hi, how are you?”

Co-worker (sighing and looking deeply depressed): “Terrible. You?”

Me: “Great! Have a great day!”

Seems like every week I crank the speed up another notch or two and my interactions with people become more and more superficial.

Thankfully, I have the world’s greatest mother-in-law.  She has an uncanny knack for reaching out to me and whacking me over the head with godly wisdom exactly when I need it. Here’s a conversation she and I have quite frequently . . .

Her: How do you spell love?

Me: Is that a trick question?

Her: T-i-m-e.  Slow down and spend it wisely.

That usually stops me dead in my tracks, at least for a few seconds. When I think about how little time I spend with the people around me in a truly meaningful way, it makes my heart hurt.

Here’s a challenge for all of us this week. People are struggling all around us.  Slow down and take the t-i-m-e to truly connect with the people God has put in your life.  Listen to them, comfort them, love them.

TAKE TIME TO LOVE

Every Grain of Sand

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny?  Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father.  And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  So don’t be afraid . . .  Matthew 10:29-30

Every Grain of Sand
By Bob Dylan

In the time of my confession
In the hour of my deepest need
When the pool of tears beneath my feet
Floods every newborn seed
There’s a dying voice within me
Reaching out somewhere
Toiling in the danger and
The morals of despair

Don’t have the inclination to
Look back on any mistake
Like Cain I now behold this chain of events
That I must break

In the fury of the moment
I can see the Master’s hand
In every leaf that trembles
In every grain of sand

Oh the flowers of indulgence
And the weeds of yesteryear
Like criminals they have choked the breath
Of conscience and good cheer
The sun beat down upon the steps
Of time to light the way
To ease the pain of idleness
And the memory of decay

I gaze into the doorway
Of temptation’s angry flame
And every time I pass that way
I always hear my name

Then onward in my journey
I come to understand
That every hair is numbered
Like every grain of sand

I have gone from rags to riches
In the sorrow of the night
In the violence of a summer’s dream
In the chill of a wintry light
In the bitter dance of loneliness
Fading into space
In the broken mirror of innocence
On each forgotten face

I hear the ancient footsteps
Like the motion of the sea
Sometimes I turn and someone’s there
Other times it’s only me

I am hanging in the balance
Of the reality of man
Like every sparrow falling
Like every grain of sand