Faith and reality sway to an unusual dance of melancholic harmonies and mountain top crescendos. Maybe this invitation to God’s prom answers the underlying question to either awaken or LET GOD SLEEP. Although the body and soul are salvifically tied and in union, I believe they operate on different levels. Horatio Spafford, a wealthy Chicago lawyer, was on a boat that was previously planned to join his wife and four young daughters in Europe for a much-needed vacation along with an evangelistic campaign in England. Midway on his journey, as he stood on board, the captain pointed over towards the sea where a boat carrying his wife and daughters were struck by an iron sailing vessel and sank. The last correspondence from his wife came from a cable that said,”Saved Alone. What shall I do?” As surely as his skin crawled, his stomach hurt, and he bitterly wept, Horatio penned the following words in his utter brokeness, “When sorrow like sea billows roll; it is well, it is well with my soul…” It is clear, at least to me, that God breathes through our gift of faith, especially when our flesh is most vulnerable so that our soul glows with the image of God’s consuming dignity. Horatio’s gut reaction probably wanted to awake God and scream for Jesus…but rather he simply let the soft and steady exhale of God breathe the hopeful words, “it is well with my soul.”
With every prayer request that hits my InBox, the dance continues. I have met many Horatios who silently pray as they sing lullabies into the young eyes of chemotherapy that bask in the hopeful melodies of their mommy and daddy. It is the community of Horatios that inhale God’s purpose to tend to the needs of the sick, poor, hungry, and anxious whose communal ring of hope centered by the warmth of Christ encourage the necessary stillness for the broken to unveil their souls radiating in God’s strength. Battles are won in brokeness as the weary mouth the words, “it is well with my soul.” This extraordinary gift of faith contains our only answer…whatever the question. We must remember our next visceral reaction to life’s fragility that overwhelms even our next step and remember Horatio. Let us mouth those words of hope and look for God’s sufficient light for our next step and then let faith and reality dance once again.
It is well… His Peace,
What does it mean to be well with one’s soul?