March 20

The Lord will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent. Psalm 27:5

Therefore, I am content with the weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities for the sake of Christ; for whenever I am weak then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:10

Psalm 27 feels like the welcome that a sunshiny day brings after a time of inclement weather. Psalm 27 begins, “The Lord is my Light and salvation; whom shall I fear: The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” Paul tells the Corinthians that God has told Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for the power is made perfect in weakness.” What beautiful words of love and hope to lift one up no matter the difficulties one faces.

These words offer hope during these days of consternation over the threat of the coronavirus and the unwelcome changes its threat has caused throughout the world. God is steadfast in his love for us and is with us no matter what.

Recently, the Trinity Choir sang the beautiful hymn, “It Is Well with My Soul.” The words were written by Horatio Spafford. In 1871 he was a prosperous lawyer and devout Presbyterian church elder who lived with his wife and four daughters in Chicago. Much of the family business and investments were lost in the great Chicago fire of 1871. 

In 1873 Spafford planned an extended stay in Europe for his family. At the last moment Spafford was detained by real estate business, but Anna and the four girls sailed to Paris on the steamer Ville du Havre. Within twelve minutes on November 21, 1873, the luxury steamer sank in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean after being rammed by a British iron sailing ship the Lochearn.

Anna was picked up unconscious by the crew of the Lochearn, but the four daughters perished. After Horatio received Anna’s telegram telling of the tragedy, he left immediately to bring his wife home. On the Atlantic crossing, the captain of his ship called Horatio to his cabin to tell him that they were passing over the spot where his four daughters perished. Horatio wrote “It Is Well with My Soul” as he passed over his daughters’ watery grave. 

As we pray the words of this wonderful hymn, let us remember that God will lead the way no matter the storms that assail any one of us.

Dear Lord and Master,

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.”
 

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 that 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.

 

And the Lord haste the day when our faith shall be sight,

The clouds be rolled back as a scroll,

The trumpet 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, it is well with my soul!

Amen.

Florence Smallfield