Friends, I don’t know how you’re feeling this holiday weekend. Maybe your heart is bursting with joy even more than your full tummy.
Or maybe your heart isn’t full at all.
Maybe your heart has an empty space that a loved one once filled.
Or maybe your heart aches because your “family” doesn’t feel like a family at all.
Maybe these last few days have been filled with abandonment, drama, anger, and/or hurt-filled words.
Or perhaps you are like me, and your recent days have been filled with good things, a side of organized chaos that accompanied hosting, and the heartache of the news of the death of a loved one.
No matter where you find yourself, can I whisper some encouragement to us for just a moment. Can I remind us that no matter how high we climb or low we slip – Father is right there with us (Psalm 139:8.) That He is near to us, the broken-hearted (Psalm 34:17-18) and He hears our cry and is our deliverer. (Exodus 14:14, Psalm 3:3, Lamentations 3:21-26.)
Horatio Spafford penned the words to the Classic Hymn It Is Well as his ship neared the site where his four daughters had tragically died. This man whom had recently lost all of his investment properties in the Great Chicago Fire and a young son to illness, was simply sending his family ahead of him for a special time away. He had planned to follow soon after he addressed some important business back home…and unfortunately their ship sank on the way to their destination. His wife sent him a message informing him of this tragedy containing 2 lung-piercing words: “saved alone.” And asking “What shall I do?” They lost all four daughters when the ship sank. Such deep tragedy and yet he was still able to write such powerful words.
How does one write such trusting words when tragedy strikes so deep? When things are not well. Not even close…
Though I am certainly grieved by the loss of my spunky aunt, I know I don’t feel the depths of heartache that my beloved cousin, her daughter is experiencing tonight. I don’t know the depth of pain her sisters and brothers are enduring. I can only imagine the hurt as I haven’t walked their road… But I have been paralyzed by the news of a death that stole the breath out of my lungs before. I’ve tasted the pain of a loss so unimaginable that my heart felt it would die at the thought of reality. It’s as though words cannot fully explain the ache in your heart with such a loss.
The song It Is Well has encouraged my heart in broken times for years. I am encouraged through music and the vulnerability in this song speaks to me. It reminds me that if someone can face tragedy that deep and still proclaim that God is good…then so can I. It often isn’t about what we can SEE. It is TELLING our souls, that IT IS WELL. Reminding our souls where our source of joy, light, life, and peace comes from.
We too can have peace that surpasses understanding. We too can know that God is good. That “It Is Well” with our souls because this broken world is temporary.
No matter what we find ourselves looking at, we can also proclaim that it is well.
My favorite hymn, born out of tragedy, yet it encourages me so deeply. And Kristene DiMarco’s version is absolutely a favorite of mine. If you’ve not heard it, you simply must take the time to listen to it now:
“So let go, my soul and trust in Him, the waves and wind still know His name…” – Kristene DiMarco
Be encouraged my dear friends. Whether you are high on the mountain or feeling trapped in the valley – you are not forgotten. You are loved. And if you are His, then you know that He has the gift of peace and joy that does not come from what you see. May you too, be able to sing tonight: It is well, with my soul.