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It Is Well With My Soul

         How do we know, it is well with our
souls?  What is it we fear the most as we
live on this earth?  Change? Death?
Illness? Loss? Separation? Yes, all of these states of being at one time or
other.  When my Dad lay in the hospital
suffering from his latest heart attack, I stayed with him one night. I thought
Mother would stay with me. She prepared to leave. I asked her how she could
leave Dad.  She taught me about God’s
Peace that night.  She quoted Psalm 6:8,
In peace I will lie down and sleep for
you alone, O Lord, will keep me safe
.” 
         This is lesson I am destined to learn
over and over.  During our lives, we face
death for this is the destiny of this corrupt world.  Family deaths often cut the deepest into our
hearts.  My grandparents, my parents, my
two brothers, my first born son, my grandson have left this earth and I
remember the vigil that night with my dad. I watched his chest take in breath
after breath, wondering when it would stop. God gives us our first breath, and
then when it is His time, to leave this earth, He stops it.  It is His breath in our lungs for He alone
gives each of us life.
         How glorious to know our destination.  Is this why the words of Jesus in John 14:1-3
are my favorite verses? 
“Don’t let your hearts be troubled.
Trust in God, and trust also in me.
 There
is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so,
would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?
 When everything is ready, I
will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.
         Two
more verses (6-7) in the same chapter in Jesus’ own words, reassure us.
Jesus told him, “I
am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except
through me.

 If you had really known
me, you would know who my Father is.
  His resurrection from death is a celebration
of life for us. We follow Him to Heaven, where there is no more crying or pain.
         How
often through the years have I sung or heard these words sung – When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll; What ever my lot, Thou has taught me to
say, 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.
         Can
you hear the suffering and pain, and ultimate glory in these words?  Horatio G. Spafford, a successful lawyer and
businessman in Chicago, had five children. 
In 1871, their young son died with pneumonia, about the same time as the
great Chicago fire burned and he lost most of his business. Two years later, a
voyage across the Atlantic to Europe was planned.  Mr. Spafford was delayed because of business,
but his wife, Anna, and their four daughters, Annie, Margaret, Bessie, and
Tanetta, boarded the ship, Ville du Harve. 
After four days, this ship was hit by another vessel and sank. Anna
gathered her daughters on the deck and prayed with them. Within twelve minutes,
Mr. Spafford’s family slipped beneath the waves. Anna was found later in the
water holding on to wreckage by a sailor and saved. When she came to shore, she
wired her husband, “All lost, what shall I do?” Mr. Spafford left on the next
ship, asking the Captain to notify him when the ship passed over where his
daughters drowned. When he was notified of the fateful location, Mr. Spafford
went to his room and penned the lyrics of It
is Well With My Soul
. 
         Is
that the end of the story? When we belong to God, He has a purpose for our
lives.  Three more daughters were born to
the Spaffords, one died with pneumonia. 
Did they hide in their misery of six children dying?  No, in August of 1881, the Spaffords moved to
Jerusalem.  Why?  They had a deep interest in Israel. They
established a Christian American Colony, and worked in philanthropic activities
among Jews, Muslims, and Christians.  Horatio
took the Bible as His guide. Though he died seven years later of malaria, his
work continued.  It grew to 150 souls who
served God in many ways.  They moved to a
larger house.
         During
the World War I, the American Colony opened soup kitchens, hospitals,
orphanages and other charitable activities thirty-six years after the death of
Mr. Spafford. The American Colony continued as a group until 1950, and by
individuals after that.
         Did
Horatio G. Spafford know the extent and impact his life would have in serving
the Lord? Often the deepest grief and sorrow touches our souls deeply with His
great love!  Through tears, we see the
needs of others and serve Him with loving hearts.
         If
we become addicted to the sympathy during our heartaches, and turn to the world
for comfort, we miss the opportunity to live for God and give His love to others.
 We often wonder, will the little I do
make a difference? When we love, give, and serve in Jesus’ Name – it makes all
the difference. And we will live this song– It
is Well With My Soul
!
         The
last stanza of It is Well with My Soul: And, Lord, haste the day when the faith hall
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.
         “Be
still, and know that I am God!
I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the
world.”
The Lord of Heaven’s
Armies is here among us;
the God of Israel is our fortress. 
Psalm 46:10-11
         “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of
mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t
be troubled or afraid.
Remember
what I told you: I am going away, but I will come back to you again. If you
really loved me, you would be happy that I am going to the Father, who is greater
than I am.  John 14:27-28

          Above
all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect
harmony.
 And
let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one
body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.
Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives.
Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and
hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.
  Colossians 3:14-16

Comments? eacombs@att.net

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