Is It Well with My Soul?
Recently the beautiful hymn “It Is Well” has come up as a topic of conversation with a wide variety of people and has caused me to think. Some people feel like they cannot truly sing that song or even think those words because it is NOT well in their soul. Which causes me to dig deeper. What do we truly mean when we say “it is well?"
As I began to ask and research, it seems that we think that phrase means reconciled and good with the results. As though we are balancing a checkbook. This happened here in this box, and I am ok with it in this box. Tada! It is well with my soul!
My sense of the phrase after researching the life of the author of those words is that it is not a reconciliation and an agreement with our circumstances. It is having our heart ripped out and our prayers consisting of groans of pain and agony and deep, guttural sounds coming from our very depths and us choosing, (don’t miss the word “choosing”) to say “it is well”. Not knowing how or what it looks like, but leaning into the arms of the One who holds us and saying again “I trust you. I need you. I am angry, confused, scared, and I love you.”
The author wrote the words to this song on a ship in the sea near the spot where he lost his DAUGHTERS and he CHOSE to say “It is well with my soul.” He had lost his fortune twice and a baby as well and he chooses to say “it is well."
Life doesn’t have to be without difficulty for us to claim those words. They can be even more powerful when we claim them in the midst of our painful circumstances. So today, I choose to say “it is well with my soul.”