“It is well….”
I know. You’re thinking of that hymn. The one that talks about when sorrows like sea billows roll.
And I could write about that. Great hymn. One of my favorites. But I’m actually thinking today of the first time those words were ever documented. And it wasn’t by Horatio Spafford, and it wasn’t a song.
They were the words of an unnamed woman in the Bible from an area known as Shunem. And by all accounts, things were not, in fact, “well”.
As the story in 2 Kings 4 tells us, her child – her only child – got a bad headache. And soon after, he was dead. Gone. Not coming back.
Hopeless. Or so it should be. But that woman knew Elisha. And because of that, she knew his God. So she saddled a donkey and went to find him. When her husband asked her what was going on, she said, “It is well”, even though her lifeless child lay still in an upper room. She knew that in spite of the way things appeared, God could still be trusted.
And when Elisha asked if things were OK with her husband and child she told him the same thing. “It is well”.
She didn’t know for sure that God could raise her child from the dead. She didn’t know for sure how He was going to move in this situation. But she had faith that the battle wasn’t over. And in a dramatic turn of events which involved the child sneezing seven times (not kidding – read the story), God indeed brought him back to life.
“Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say, it is well, it is well with my soul”.
May I be just as quick to say that when things look not so well. Because with God, it is always well…with my soul.
God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear,
Even though the earth be removed,
And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Psalm 46:1-2
I would have lost heart, unless I had believed
That I would see the goodness of the LORD
In the land of the living. Psalm 27:13
Whenever I am afraid,
I will trust in You. Psalm 56:3