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It is Well with My Soul

As I was walking and talking with the Lord this morning,  my words to Him were similar I suspect, to the words that many of you have been saying to Him here of late:  “Lord, nothing takes you by surprise, including what’s happening in the world today.  For whatever reason, You are allowing this to happen.  So…whatever the reason, what are You looking to teach me and bring about in my life through all of this?”
I came to realize that this pandemic has given me the opportunity to evaluate the depth of my faith.  I thought of friends and acquaintances who have had to deal with significant trials and even tragedies and came to acknowledge that I have lived a relatively comfortable life, perhaps even taking for granted many of the conveniences of life (such as well-stocked shelves and the freedom to go wherever, whenever). 
While we all endure trials of various kinds, I can’t say that I have found my faith severely tested.  And now, almost overnight, I find myself coming face to face with the substance of my faith. These days my mind goes to my health, the health of my family, the health of all of you.  My mind goes to family finances, your finances, and the finances of this church.  How does my faith in Jesus impact these thoughts that I have?
As I continued to walk, I found myself thinking back to this past Sunday as the worship team led us in singing the hymn It Is Well With My Soul.   
“When peace like a river attendeth my way…”
If you’re like me, you have experienced the calming effect of watching a gentle, flowing river and listening to the sound of the water as it flows.  In the same way, we long for this type of calm in our lives, and at times, this is our experience.  
“When sorrows like sea billows roll…”
On the other hand, we have also experienced seasons where we feel we are getting pounded by unrelenting waves of trouble and sorrow. 
“Whatever my lot thou hast taught me to say:  It is well, it is well with my soul.”
Whether I find myself in a season of calm (experiencing a relatively comfortable life) or an unsettled season such as the one I now find myself in:  It is well, it is well with my soul.  Because I know that I am His and He is mine.  And that will not change no matter what happens in any other facet of life. 
And this is my prayer for all of you; that whatever comes your way in these next few days, weeks, months, you also can say that  “It is well with my soul.”   
The reason we can say this is because we know the reality of where the hymn goes next: 
“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!”
While we’re living at a time when things are constantly changing, one thing that does not change is the fact that my sin and your sin – every one of them – has been borne by Jesus.  Praise the Lord!
“…The trump shall resound and the Lord shall descend, even so, it is well with my soul.” 
He’s coming again.  I don’t know when, but He is.  And when He does, like we also sang on Sunday, He will make all things new.
I am – we as a staff are – praying for you.  I am praying for God to provide you with good health, that you will go to bed at night feeling well and wake up the following morning feeling the same.  I am praying that God will provide you with a steady source of income that in turn will allow you to provide for those entrusted to your care…and perhaps be in a position to help others who find themselves in need.  I pray that we will all experience a renewed appreciation for those closest to us, relationships that perhaps we had begun to take for granted. 
May God use this time to affirm the reality and substance of our faith, and as this happens, may it draw each of us closer than ever to Jesus.
As always, if you have any needs or prayer requests, please contact me or any of the staff, as we would welcome the opportunity to talk with you and pray with you at this time.
The Lord bless you and keep you!
Pastor Bill