It is Well ~ Music Mondays

I’ll admit I hoped this moment would happen — where I would get the opportunity to meet with you. I had wondered if I would find those on my short list in Heaven.

And I have thought about what I would say to you. What I would ask. So many questions flood my mind. Questions like:

  • How did you prevent your girls from getting the fever that took your only 4-year-old son?
  • If you hadn’t lost everything you had worked towards, do you think you still would have taken your family overseas to help your friend’s, D.L. Moody’s, ministry?
  • Do you ever regret sending them on ahead of you — not being on the same boat?
  • When you received the telegram from your wife “Saved alone” did you know right away what it meant?
  • How did you comfort your wife after losing your daughters? I can only imagine the nightmares that would ensue from having your baby pulled out from your arms in the pressure of the rushing waves. (Can I give her a hug?)
  • Did you ever once regret going to a foreign land, doing the Lord’s work, only to contract a disease that inevitably put you on an early deathbed?

Yet, when I think of these questions, I realize — they’re all minor details in the legacy of your life. No, I won’t waste your time dwelling on these events.

But I will ask my last question. Because it’s important you know it wasn’t forgotten. I know the truth. I know what you wrote. And what I want to know is:

Does it bother you?
When we sing it wrong, do you grieve?

And you will know I’m talking about your hymn. The poem you penned for God alone.

I know they changed that one word in the final details of publication. I realize the tongue finds it more fluent. But I know how important that one word was. You, being an educated lawyer, would have used that word on purpose. Intentionally.

And I get the importance of it. For saying and knowing are two very different things. One holds no truth to it while the other requires submission. Immense faith. Complete communion.

Mr. Spafford, regardless of how you answer my question, I want you to know that I know.  And because I also want to proclaim that, I sing your poem the way you wrote it.

For saying and knowing are two very different things.

~~~~~~~~~~

It Is Well With My Soul

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

Refrain:
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 blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for 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!

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life,
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.

But Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!
Blessed hope, blessed rest of 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.

Thank you, Horatio Spafford, for these words. Thank you, Philip Bliss, for contributing the melody.

And thank You, Lord, for teaching me to know. Yes, I can know it is well with my soul.

How about you? Will you sing the proper lyrics with me? Do you know?

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

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14 thoughts on “It is Well ~ Music Mondays

  1. Wow! I did not know that! This is probably my all-time favorite hymn, but I had not ever seen the original poem. Thanks for sharing this, Nikki! The next time I sing this song, I will remember that important difference.

    • Thanks, Lisa, for stopping by! This is one of my favorite hymns, too. My piano professor in college insisted we do origination research on any piece we performed. So thankful I learned that tidbit back then. It makes the song that much more meaningful! Enjoy singing it that way next time!

  2. Oh Nikki, I love this one! First of all, I love the deep truths that the old hymns provide. And this sweet song is such a powerful one. I didn’t know about the word change, but it makes such a difference! To KNOW rather than just to SAY… wow. Thanks for sharing this one with us.

    • Thanks, Katie! I learned that fun fact in college and am so glad (now) to have had a detailed piano professor who made us research origination before any performance piece was played! Trust it will mean that much more to you next time you sing it — it does me.

  3. So true…to know does require submission as you say, and it also requires an intimacy with God, a love relationship…Thank you, Nikki, so wonderfully deep and full of truth and God’s grace…for who can know without His grace 🙂

  4. okay now, i’ve read this three times today and each time i end up crying. this song reaches into the depths of me and now that you’ve revealed a Truth that was repressed, wow…just wow. i love the art of words. more specifically, the Word. and the intentionality of it’s every word. i have words all over my walls. i am that person who writes and rewrites practically every email/letter searching for the “right” words…crafting it. words are so powerful. to know, to say…such a difference in their application. i can SAY all day long that “everything’s okay, don’t worry, i’m fine,” but in my heart i can just be aching. while on the other hand i could be free to KNOW that whatever it is i’m facing, He’s got this. i’m going to be okay because i’m a daughter of the King of Kings and He’s promised to carry me through. oh such liberation…to know. thank you, nikki, for making this already incredible poem/song that much more awe-inspiring.

    • We are true kindred spirits, aren’t we, Ginger. Yes– that one little word makes a world of difference! In the hymn as well as in our own lives.

      For to know
      “That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
      And hath shed His own blood for my soul.”
      is life changing.

      What grace.

      thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with me. It’s so comforting to know I’m not the only one affected by this knowledge…
      and you’re right–to know is so liberating!

      (p.s. you let me know if/when you start your own blog!) 🙂

      • definitely kindred spirits! and i love that! 🙂

        and as far as starting my own blog….i don’t want to say no, because i know what happens when you say no God. kind of like praying for patience. don’t do it unless you want to be tested! 😀 so i’ll just say, we’ll see…is that too lukewarm?

        • ha! Oh, yes I know what happens when we say no. I have this blog because I said no and God didn’t take no for an answer 😉
          I don’t think your approach is lukewarm–it’s simply open and receptive to what He wills. A much better approach indeed!

  5. I love this hymn and have loved the story behind it since I first heard it as a child (through Adventures in Odyssey, I think). But I never knew that word was changed. Thank you SO much for sharing this! Yes, “Thou hast taught me to *know*…it is well!”

    I wrote this almost a year ago, and although I based it on a different song, I thought of this hymn the whole time I was writing. So much truth in those lyrics! http://theinnerharborblog.com/2011/03/10/anchor-for-my-soul/

  6. Love this song! And love the way you wrote this post… It is amazing to think about the circumstances he was going through when he wrote the lyrics. Thanks so much for linking up with us! 🙂

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