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.
7 thoughts on “Where’s That Peace Jesus Promised?”
Reading comments this morning has made me realize that I have NOT come as far as I thought I had🙁 My anxiety becomes crippling in public and if I am at home , I run my shower and just cry…because I have no words. If I cry less than I had been, I feel guilty. I cannot seem to separate myself from emotions but my emotions are separating me from life. And then like a wave, time hits me today…. it has been 6 weeks… and we have nearly erased every trace of Ryan. And the guilt sets in and my wheel of emotions starts all over again… I have to read my Bible orally or my heart cannot ‘hear’ the words. And inside I ask myself, when will life come back to me? When will I sit among friends and carry on a normal conversation that is not about death ? Or will I?
One thing I can assure you is you will sit around talking to friends about everything except death. It makes them uncomfortable and they really don’t want to discuss it. It is unfortunate bc you need to. Lifelong friends who say they will always be there for you won’t pick up the phone and call after a few weeks. So you are doing the right thing. Turn to people who have loss a child. Only they understand.
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Yes, God is in control even when I don’t like it …….so I lift up my hands to the Lord, and say not my will but yours and I hope that I can believe it in my heart …….I pray for the wisdom to accept his will even when he has taken my child before I was really ready to let him go even after I said he is yours, do what you will.
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Even Jesus Himself begged the Father to remove the bitter cup-if it were possible-but yet submitted and endured. I pray that all of us will finish strong. ❤
Your words lifted my heart tonight, Ann. I’m weary and worn. Thank you for taking time to comment. ❤
Your heart speaks right to mine! What great comfort your words bring to those who read this. It’s okay to not be okay, what I’m feeling is normal, and besides my best friend Jesus I am not alone. God has gifted you with the ability to let your heart speak to others through your writing. Thank you. Ann