Sunday, February 10, 2013
It Is Well
It was the hymn. It was the words of a hymn that made me begin to scan the faces of those in the choir.
"When peace like a river attendeth my soul.
When sorrows like sea billows roll.
Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say,
It is well. It is well with my soul."
The words cancer, job loss, aging, surgeries, special needs children, financial difficulty, grief, sorrow, pain, fear, doubt seemed to land above each face. And yet many faces were smiling. Many stood straight with the resoluteness of a deep faith. Some bore tears. Some stood with the stooped shoulders that marked them as a caregiver. They sang with strong voices.
In the midst of our adversity, we plead for God to fill us, to satisfy us, so that in all circumstances we would rejoice and be glad in all our days, good and bad.
Psalm 90 puts it like this:
13 Turn, O Lord! How long?
Have compassion on your servants!
14 Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love,
so that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
15 Make us glad by the measure of the days that you afflicted us,
And the years in which we have seen adversity.
16 Let your work be manifest to your servants,
and your glorious power to their children.
17 Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us,
and prosper for us the work of our hands—
O prosper the work of our hands!
Did you catch verse 15..."Make us glad by the measure of the days that you afflicted us, and the years in which we have seen adversity."
Matthew Henry's commentary suggests that this is a prayer..that our days of grief and sorrow would be balanced by an equal measure of time filled with the joy and gladness of God's presence.
Somehow the proclamation of that hymn, the words - "It is well with my soul", bore witness to the answer of that prayer in Psalm 90. It is why despite difficult times, that we can sing with certainty that our soul is indeed well.
grace and peace...