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Monday, October 29, 2007

It is well....


Taken at 3:00 p.m. outside my home in Southern California

As I am preparing this post, the fires in Southern California are burning out of control. It is Tuesday, October 21, 2007 and outside my home about 12 miles away, a new fire has begun to burn. It is on the high side of the mountain which boarders our town. The flames are moving our way. I feel anxious about the implication.

I have watched this mountain burn twice in the last eight years since moving to California. I never felt afraid during those fires. Today is different; there is no one to help. Every firefighter in the state mobilized yesterday and is combating the terrible fires in San Diego. The frightful winds continue to blow with a fury. I continue to fret and to worry.

Today, I sit at my computer listening to the howling outside. Somehow through the noise, I hear God calling softly to me in this moment. I answer Him.

Lord, this is a moment of truth. Father, I am grappling with the real possibility of leaving my home knowing it may burn to the ground. I hear You asking me some serious questions. Am I holding too tightly to the things of this world? Have possessions become a God to me?

Lord, I have not faced this particular trial. I know others have and under far worse circumstances, but for me today, it is very real. You have brought front-and-center fears and insecurities that I hide from everyone, even from myself.

Today Lord, I surrender my earthly possessions. They will not be a God in my heart. If I leave today with only my family and my Bible, it is well with my soul.

2 When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
Isaiah 43:2


IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL

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.

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

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with 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!

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

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.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

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

The words to this hymn was written after two major traumas in Spafford's life. The first was the Great Chicago Fire of October 1871, which ruined him financially. Shortly after, while crossing the Atlantic, all four of Spafford's daughters died in a collision with another ship. Spafford's wife Anna survived and sent him the now famous telegram: "SAVED ALONE." Several weeks later, as Spafford's own ship passed near the spot where his daughters died, he was inspired to write these words.




I would love to visit with you over at my place: Spiritually Unequal Marriage.

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15 Comments:

Anonymous Lynn said...

Hi my friends at Christian Women Online:

Update. We are fine and the fire is nearly out as I post this comment today. I have some fantastic photos of the events of last week on my website. They are photographs you are not likely to see on the new or in the papers. Hope you have a minute to hope over there.

Thank you everyone who prayed for us in Southern California. Your words saved lives. Love, Lynn

October 28, 2007 at 8:50 PM  
Anonymous Heather said...

Oh, this is one of my favorite hymns. So glad that God brought you peace. God is SO GOOD!

October 28, 2007 at 8:58 PM  
Blogger lori said...

The fire has been on my mind and in my prayers all weekend...~Amen you are alright and in peace!

I am with Heather, one of the best hymns ever written...and Isaiah 43:2, feel the peace in that!

Continuing to pray for all the 'interrupted' lives and for peace~ the peace of God that transcends all understanding...

peace Lynn,
lori

October 28, 2007 at 9:24 PM  
Blogger The Preacher's Wife said...

Oh Lynn..I am so glad you are okay...My heart just stopped when I read this. This whole situation seems surreal until it affects someone we all love so much...

Please know my prayers are with you and your state....Your scripture and song lyrics are the perfect salve to an anxious spirit!

much love,

Lisa

October 28, 2007 at 9:34 PM  
Blogger Denise said...

My favorite hymn, so heart touching. Thanks for a beautiful post my friend, so glad you are ok. California remains in my prayers.

October 29, 2007 at 4:27 AM  
Blogger Darlene said...

God your prayer and ours. In fact I was just going to write that I was covering you in prayer today. I will still pray for all of California. I remember learning the story behind that song a few years back after I was coming off of a troublesome time. Tears were pouring down my face as I sang it. It's a powerful hymn of deep devotion to faith.

Off to your blog now!

October 29, 2007 at 7:40 AM  
Blogger Julianne Bell @ Family Blueprint said...

Oh Lynn: That song truly has ministered to my heart during some dark times in my life. God is truly incredible. He does not always give us the faith BEFORE the event, but gives us the faith we need to trust in Him moment by moment, step by step. Sometimes it seems He just wants to work something in our hearts, and get us to a place of surrender.

Thank you for blessing all of us with this very real look into ourselves and the God who provides!

Blessings to you dear sister, Julianne

October 29, 2007 at 9:45 AM  
Blogger Homemaker05 said...

I lived my entire life (exept college) until 3 years ago when I was married right there in Saugus, CA (in the heart of the Santa Clarita fires for other commenters unfamiliar). My old home was right in the middle of those evacuations. I appreciate your spirit as I gave so much thought to what I would be doing and thinking if I were still there like so many of my friends and family. Praise the Lord for his protection of so many this last week!

October 29, 2007 at 12:26 PM  
Blogger Heather@Mommymonk said...

Your dance with imagination and hope brings new meaning to this hymn, doesn't it?

October 29, 2007 at 1:25 PM  
Blogger Gretchen said...

Lynn, you bring up a great point of loving our stuff vs. loving God. Indeed, it's difficult to serve 2 masters, right? You are such a steadfast blessing to me, and I'm so glad "it is well" with your soul today.
xxxooogretchen

October 29, 2007 at 7:02 PM  
Blogger Tammy said...

Continuing to pray for you and those around you. Thanks for sharing your heart and being so transparent. I know we would all agree to have had moments like this and we are grateful for your sweet reminder that no matter what, It is Well with our Soul! May God continue to strengthen you and those around you, as well.

October 29, 2007 at 8:29 PM  
Blogger Susan said...

Dear Lynn,

I'm so blessed to read you are OK!

Those fires were so horrible, and my heart truly went out to these families, I just can't imagine.

I lived 25 miles outside of New Orleans when Katrina Hit. At least we had a few days to evacuate.

I loved your devotional, it was so true. That hymm will always be my very favorite.

And the scripture you used is part of the one I chose for my blog!

Yes, He will always be with us, and because of Him, it is WELL!

Susan

October 29, 2007 at 8:29 PM  
Blogger Tiffany Stuart said...

Love your heartfelt words of surrender!

And It Is Well is one of my all-time favorites.

October 30, 2007 at 1:55 PM  
Blogger Vicki said...

I'm sooo glad you're okay. Your heartfelt post moved me deeply.

One of my sisters lives just two miles from a fire that is still burning. (She became frantic and at one point tried to leave her apt. but by then the roads were closed). Her daughter was hospitalized for smoke inhalation but they're okay right now. They have both just cried out to the Lord...

Your post drives home the reality that nothing here will last, but if we have the Lord, we're secure in Him. Still praying for everyone there.

Love you and sending hugs!
Vicki

October 31, 2007 at 5:01 PM  
Anonymous angeleyes Blue said...

My comment is a little late but if you are reading this you made it through AOK!

I remember coming from NY to CA. When I was in CA in Santa Barbara, 2 days before my wedding ---the fire jumped the freeway and was bouncing around. On my street across from me houses survived--on my Right no houses survived.

The best man and maid honor in our wedding were out doing last minute errands and got caught in traffic. The Best man flagged down a biker who said "Get Out of the Car and RUN! They both ran to my betrothed husbands' house to camp out.

That was back in 1990 when Santa Barbara burned down.

Keep safe and chin up--It will be alright.

November 1, 2007 at 10:36 AM  

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