Horatio Spafford wrote the hymn, It Is Well, after a series of personal tragedies.
It has become both an anthem of hope (for those who can identify with the peace it celebrates) and an impossible standard (for those who cannot find the same peace).
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
I have felt both hopeful and guilty singing this old favorite.
Before Dominic ran ahead to heaven I had faced a number of trials in life. But none disturbed me so greatly that I didn’t still have an underlying sense of peace. I was convinced that beneath waves of uncertainty or difficulty, the water was calm.
That changed the morning of April 12, 2014-my son’s death wasn’t a wave, it was a tsunami.
Not a single part of my spirit, soul, mind or body was left undisturbed.
Peace was a distant memory.
It took me a long time to understand that maybe I needed to redefine peace in a different way: the peace of God which passes all understanding is not necessarily a feeling or sense that “all is well”.
Instead it is a settled assurance that God is in control, even when all is definitely NOT well.
The peace that Jesus offers is a confident leaning on the truth of Scripture when my heart doesn’t want to or can’t hear it.
It’s holding my hands up and saying “help me” because deep in my spirit, I know He is there and that He will gather me in his arms like a lamb.
More than three years later, I still often don’t FEEL peaceful but I AM peace-filled.