It is Well
May 9, 2016 Aly

It is Well

May 9 2016

Stephanie Pursifull | Co-Lead Pastor | Building Church | Huntsville, AL

It is well with my soul.

What powerful words written at a time of unimaginable sorrow.  When Horatio Spafford penned those words in 1873, he was passing over the spot in the Atlantic Ocean where his four daughters had lost their lives.  He had sent them on holiday to England with his wife when their ship was struck by another vessel and sunk.  Only his wife survived.  A few years earlier he had lost most of his wealth in the Great Fire of Chicago.  Later, he would lose a son to scarlet fever.

It’s obvious that’s not the plan Horatio had for his life, but it was his story anyway.

With each devastating event, I can imagine what his thoughts were, “But God, this isn’t how it was supposed to be!  I’ve served you with all my heart and lived my life for you and now this happens…”

But he didn’t allow himself to stay there long.  He boarded a ship to England to get his wife and wrote these words in the midst of his pain.

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well; it is well with my soul. 

I would have written a different story for my family as we planted Building Church.

Our church hasn’t grown as fast as we’d imagined.  We were displaced from our home overnight by a sinkhole opening up underneath it.  I was betrayed by a family member and sued because of it.  I cried many tears for my children as they felt the loss of friends and family back in Louisiana.  So many things became a part of my story… things too personal to share here.   With each sorrow, I had to come to the place of being able to say, “It is well with my soul.”

There’s a place, alone, in God’s presence, where you are taught to say, “It is well.” His grace and love overwhelm you, and you know that even though you don’t understand, He is still working his purposes and plans through your pain.

Pain and sorrow are a part of life; a by-product of sin and its curse on humanity and sometimes caused by the enemy himself who hates us and would like nothing more than for us to quit.  I’ve come to that point more times than I care to count on this journey of church planting.   But we can’t quit.  There are still people to be reached, churches to be planted, lives to be changed for eternity.

If things haven’t gone like you planned, and your heart is broken, will you find that place alone with God today?  You may have to wrestle with Him like Jacob did, but in the end, you will find Him sweetly teaching you to say, “Whatever my lot…It is well with my soul.”

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