Been working on Psalm 25 for a while now. I had an idea in mind for the picture but not the words. Those came tonight. This evening we were leading the memorial service for a dear brother in Christ who had died after a long’s faithful life.
Literally as I was tying my tie to head over, I got a call from another church member sharing with me that his 2-month old grandson had died. I led the wedding for this little boy’s parents just a few years ago. The how & why aren’t all that important right now as much as being present in their loss. I cannot even imagine. Yet there I was about to co-lead a memorial service for one who had passed away after a long life while beginning to think about another funeral ahead for a little boy who was only 2 months old when he died. And not just the mechanics of a funeral, but trying to pray for this family and their sudden, devastating loss.
So, in the service tonight came the hymn, “It is well with My soul.” The story goes that Horatio Spafford penned the words to it as he grieved the death of his 4 daughters. How can one grieving such a loss write such words?
That hymn is like another Psalm to me. Words trying to express faith that may only be words at that moment- much like many of the Psalms. The first line of this Psalm expresses the prayer I am praying for both of these families. Both are grieving- different losses, but still grieving. They find themselves in places where they are standing but may be with the only place to look but up. Up with their grief, their hurt, their anger, their gratitude, and so many other things stirring in their hearts & minds.
Lord, please meet these dear families as they look to you.
1. 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.
It is well with my soul,
it is well, it is well with my soul.
2. 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.
3. 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!
4. 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.