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Sunday, April 10, 2005

It Is Well With My Soul

A few days ago, an employee of the Christian University where I work was investigating a new sinkhole in a county road passing through the campus. Somehow, he fell into the hole, and died shortly thereafter, probably of suffocation--investigators said that the Oxygen level was only 3%. He was only 35, and had been working for us since his graduation. He left a wife, and grieving family, colleagues and students. Two days later, our chapel became a memorial service for him. I have never seen that many people in the chapel before. We sung this song as part of the service:

IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL (public domain)

Words: Horatio G. Spafford, 1873. Music: Philip P. Bliss, 1876

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.

Refrain

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 blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

Refrain

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!

Refrain

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.

Refrain

But, Lord, ‘tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh trump of the angel! Oh voice of the Lord!
Blessèd hope, blessèd rest of my soul!

Refrain

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.

Refrain

I've never heard a couple of those verses, and another word or two has probably been changed in some hymnals.

According to the CyberHymnal entry on this song, which is where I got the text, Spafford lost his business in the Chicago fire, and then lost all four of his daughters at sea. He wrote this when his own ship passed over the spot where they drowned. Obviously, he had a hope beyond the temporal. I trust that I do, too. May God comfort those who mourn David Summey's passing.

2 comments:

admasonscottish said...

How to Witness to Strangers show how God can open up opportunities to speak for him in all sorts of situations.

Martin LaBar said...

Thanks.