It Is Well….Draw Close to Him
The author of this hymn didn’t write these beautiful lyrics amidst small, trivial trials. Horatio G. Spafford knew pain. He knew loss; BIG loss. Yet, he found the strength to pen this great hymn in the middle of despair. He left behind a legacy of inspirational faith. When he wrote this song, he had just suffered immense loss-not just one child, but ALL of his children; his son to Scarlett fever and then 2 years later all 4 of his daughters to a ship wreck. He lost everything……except faith and hope.
You may ask how it’s possible for someone to continue believing “in a God that would allow a child to die,” or even simply how it’s possible to trust God after a tragedy like this. You may even wonder how it’s possible to be so calm in a moment like this; to gain enough composure to write such a beautiful hymn when your heart is shattered beyond repair. Did Mr. Spafford just not care?! Did he not love his children? Was he not hurting?
I obviously did not personally know Mr. Spafford, nor have I read his words on the matter, but I would guess that none of these is the case for his situation. So how did he do it?! How does any one of us that has suffered the loss of a child continue to live a “normal” life again? How do we live a “happy” life again?
You know, all throughout life we will experience trials and heartaches. Obviously some are far worse than others, but when we are younger some of the things that seem trivial as adults are huge life events as children and teens. What do we do in those situations where our world has suddenly crashed in around us and we are unsure of how to move forward and continue living? For me, the thing I instinctively do first is reach out. I reach out to Matt, to my parents, to my best friend Beth (hi Beth!), to my Pastors wife, to Susie-next-door-who-happens-to-be-within-reach-at-the-exact-moment-I-need-someone (you get the point)……..we reach out.
But…..do I reach out to God?? Do you?? I’m betting Mr. Spafford did. I bet the first thing he did was cry out to God through his tears and his heartache for God to comfort him. He probably got on his knees and simply told God how much he was hurting and that he didn’t understand it all. Maybe he fell asleep from sheer emotional exhaustion while praying for peace. Maybe he woke up later and had sudden clarity. Not clarity about the “why” of it all, because that’s something we will never understand until we come face to face with God and can ask Him personally “WHY”. But clarity that even in the midst of the immense pain, God is still there waiting for us to allow Him to comfort us. And even in allllllllll the bad of this world, He is still Holy and worthy of praise. And even more than that, He wants to comfort us. He loves us.
You want to know what finally got me out of my funk and at the point where I felt like I could start living again? I’m gonna tell you anyways, so stop reading if you don’t want to hear it. 😉 I finally had a friend call me out on pushing God away. I’ve said here before that I was continually crying out to Him to “fix this” but that’s about all I was doing. I wasn’t praying other than that prayer; I wasn’t reading my Bible; every church service I was either in the bathroom crying or out in the car pumping and surfing Facebook while doing so–I pushed Him away. I begged Him to fix something that can’t be fixed in this life, and instead of allowing Him to fix me instead of fix the situation; I had my arms outstretched, preventing anyone and anything from coming any closer than that, including God. How can anyone fix something they can’t even get their hands on?? God couldn’t fix me, because I wouldn’t allow Him to comfort me.
Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. James 4:8
In order for God to fix something in your life, you have to let Him close enough to do so. Draw closer to Him and He will draw closer to you.