Sunset Over The Ocean

"It is well with my soul"

Horatio Gates Spafford (1828-1888), a long-time Christian, had been a wealthy businessman, but lost his entire fortune in the great Chicago fire of 1871.  Shortly after, Spafford's wife, Anna, survived a shipwreck while crossing the ocean, then sent him the telegram, "Saved alone."  Spafford's only four daughters had been killed in a ship accident. While crossing the Atlantic in 1873, near the location where his daughters were said to have drowned, he stared out at the waves and wrote the lyrics to the hymn,
"It Is Well With My Soul".
When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blessed assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with 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! 
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall 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.
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

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    There was an old Shunamite woman that lived during the time that Elisha the prophet lived.  Elisha often stayed at their house and ate bread with her and her husband.  One day Elisha asked his servant what he might do to repay her for hospitality.  The servant responded, "Verily she hath no child, and her husband is old."  The prophet called the old woman and said, "About this season, according to the time of life, thou shall embrace a son."  She could not believe it and told Elisha not to lie to her.

    However, in due time she had a son according to the word of Elisha.  The child grew up to be a young man.  Then one day, when he was out in the harvest field working, he got a bad headache and was taken to his mother.  The young man died on the lap of his mother.  She carries him up to Elisha bed and lays him there.   Then an amazing thing happens.  The woman calls to her husband to get one of the donkeys that she may go get Elisha.  Her husband questions her about what she is doing,  "Wherefore wilt thou go to him to day? it is neither new moon, nor sabbath" (II Kings 4:23a).  Her response is, "It shall be well".

    How could it be "well"?  The miracle that God had given her had been taken away.  Her miracle had died!  In the natural, it was not well.  The worse thing that could have happened, happened!
She would let nothing stop her from going to see the prophet now.

    When she and her servant reached the foot of Mount Carmel where Elisha and his servant was.  Elisha saw her from a distance and sent his servant, Gehazi, to meet her.  Elisha said, "Run now, I pray thee, to meet her, and say unto her, Is it well with thee?  Is it well with thy husband? Is it well with the child?" . And she answered, "It is well" (II Kings 4:26). She is old.  Her husband is old.  Her son is dead.  How could it be well?  The only way that it could be well is that was that she had faith in God!

     Elisha meets her, finds out about the boy's death, and sends his servant back to lay his staff on the body of the youth.  The Elisha goes to find the dead boy, prays, and lays down over the body.  The the boy sneezed seven times and opened his eyes.

    How can one say, "It is well", in the face of despair?  If we look at the natural world, we can not respond, "It is well."  If we go by our feelings when we feel disappointed or depressed, we can not say, "It is well."  If someone asks us how are we doing when we are physically sick and we look at physical circumstances, we can not respond, "It is well."   However, if we are born of the Spirit of God, a child of God, then no matter what the circumstances or how we feel we can respond, "It is well."

    In January 2001, I personally was having some major problems with my colon.  I went to see the physician who discovered that I had an ulcerated tumor restricting the lower part of my colon.  When a biopsy was done, it was discovered that the tumor which had been there for some time was a type of cancer.  As I lay on the surgical table just before having the operation to have a portion of my colon removed, I had to come to say, "God, it is well.  I place my life in your hands."

    When Jesus was told that his close friend Lazarus being sick, he did not panic, he did not rush to see him, but remained where he was ministering for two days (John 11:6).  Then he told his disciples that he was going to return to Judea.  Because of the danger in the return, the disciples asked Jesus why he was returning.  Jesus responded, "Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep" (John 11:11b).  "Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well" (John 11:12).  Although Jesus was trying to communicate to the disciples that "it is well", they did not understand that Lazarus had died. "Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead" (John 11:14).  How could it be O.K. when you knew that your close friend had just died and you were not even there?  It was O.K. because God, the Father, was still in control.

    Is it well in your life?   If you have yet to give your life to Jesus as your Lord, you can do so right now.  Today is the day of salvation.  Searching For Truth  You can also unload all your worries on the Lord.   "Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you" (I Peter 5:7).  It can be well with your soul today.

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