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.
Refrain — 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! Blessèd hope, blessèd 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.
This hymn was written by Horatio G. Spafford after two major events in Spafford’s life. The first was the great Chicago Fire of October 1871, which ruined him financially. Later in his life, Spafford’s wife and four daughters were crossing the Atlantic on a ship namedVille du Havre, headed for vacation (Spafford was held up due to some business). All of a sudden their ship collided with an iron sailing vessel and 226 people died including all four of Spafford’s daughters. However, his wife survived and she sent him a telegram from England that read, “Saved alone…now what shall I do?” Several weeks later, Spaffordleft to meet his wife and his own ship passed near the spot where his daughters died, the Holy Spirit inspired the words to the song It is well with my Soul. Spafford once said that “They speak to the eternal hope that all believers have, no matter what pain and grief they experience here on earth.”
I have been thinking alot about souls lately. I have talked with other clergy about the importance of walking with people as they search deep within their souls.
My first reaction when talking about souls is the episode of the Simpsons when Bart sells his soul to Milhouse for $5. Lisa warns Bart that something bad will happen, but he doesn’t believe her until he can’t pass through automatic doors, and animals are afraid of him. Bart tries to buy his soul back but finds that Milhouse sold it to the Comic Book Guy, who sold it to an unnamed person. Turns out, Lisa bought Bart’s soul and returned it to him.
How many of us do not realize the importance of our souls? How many of us have a soul that is not well? How do I as a religious professional help people become well with their soul once again? These are the questions that I have been pondering, and these are the questions that I do not have answers. When I talk with people, it seems that everyone has something that they are dealing with, some more intensely than others and I want to be there for people, I want to empower them to take care of themselves which includes their soul. So how do you build a network inside of the church to help people with their souls? This is a question that I will be pondering, working with, talking about for the next year or so, hoping that one day it can be well with all of our souls.