I grew up singing hymns.
I was introduced to praise choruses in my mid-twenties.
I love both.
I used to hear or sing along to them and feel them feed my spirit.
My family sang in choirs, served on worship teams and was rarely absent from church for over twenty years. Music was part of everyday life with a special bonus on Sundays.
Now I find it hard to hear and even harder to sing some hymns I used to love.
One of the most challenging is “It Is Well”-really, IS it well?
Can I sing these words with conviction or am I lying my way through just to keep others from asking questions?
I know the story behind the hymn-at least the part every worship leader or pastor likes to share. Horatio Spafford wrote the words as he passed the very spot where his daughters drowned in an ocean crossing. His life didn’t end on a high note. It’s often introduced as an amazing testimony of victory over grief and death. If I only cling harder to Jesus, I, too, can experience perfect peace in the midst of great trial and suffering.
We sang that hymn in church a couple of weeks ago and I realized that it is a prayer as much as (or instead of) a declaration.
In many ways, after 5 years, it IS well with my soul.
I’ve reached a place where I can rest easy with unanswered questions and where I have finally received this blow with open arms. I’m not fighting the FACT of my son’s earlier than expected move to Heaven.
On those days, I can sing the chorus as an affirmation of truth.
But I have days (and sometimes weeks) where life and memories and anniversaries and random stress unsettle me again. So then I sing it as a PRAYER like the psalmist who turns his heart to the only One Who can fill it again with grace, peace and hope.
It may not be well right NOW, but it WILL be well.
I can trust that He who began a good work in me will complete it.
I can lean on the truth that in Christ every promise of God is “yes” and “amen”.
I know, deep in my bones, that all this heartache will ultimately be redeemed and that whatever I have lost in this life will be gloriously restored in Heaven. ❤