A Devotional Thought
by Marilyn Bennett
Panic or Peace?
I love this song:
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."
Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
let this blest assurance control:
that Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
and has shed his own blood for 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!
O 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.
I love the story behind this song even more. When Horatio Spafford sent his wife and four daughters by ship to vacation in France, he planned to join them in a few days. However, somewhere in the Atlantic, their ship collided with another ship and sank. Only his wife survived. As Horatio sailed to meet his grieving wife he penned these words,
“When peace like a river attendeth my way…it is well, it is well with my soul.”
These words have given comfort to many.
Though it is difficult to understand how this father could find peace in the face of unspeakable pain and grief, we know he believed God would lift his burden and carry his pain. Jesus said,
“Come to me all who are heavy laden and I will give you rest.”
This does not mean that we do not feel grief, but that God will give us rest in the midst of it.
Do you believe God will lift your burden and carry your pain? Are you willing to let Jesus carry your pain?
Peace comes to our soul when we give up our way and attend to God’s way. Horatio must have experienced difficult times before this, because he said God taught him to say “it is well.” Horatio had been through troubled waters before. He learned to stand up to adversity because he knew a good God was in charge. God was working. God is always working.
“When peace like a river attendeth my way, when sorrows like sea bellows roll…whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say, ‘It is well. It is well with my soul.’”
When we trust God, we need not panic.
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart;
and lean not unto thine own understanding.
In all thy ways acknowledge him,
and he shall direct thy paths.”