Contemplating the old hymn "It Is Well with My Soul.
It was written in the late 1800's by a man who lost everything: money, property, his children. And yet he kept going. Despite tragedy, and most likely in the face of naysayers. Because you know whenever bad things happen to good people, there is always someone around to point out how they would have done it differently, and not had such a terrible outcome. They do not hesitate to make themselves known loudly, and often in the most condescending tone of voice possible.
Yet, he wrote:
"When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to know,
It is well, it is well, with my soul."
This isn't passive acceptance. Far from it. It is finding a deep place of inner peace in the middle of terrible circumstances. From that place of peace, he was then able to deal with whatever was going on around him from a calm, spiritually focused place. Death, disease, wrath, anger. Whatever the world threw at him, he could withstand it because he had developed the internal spiritual and emotional tools to handle it.
Is it well with your soul?
What trials or circumstances are you facing today? Are you holding on to hurt, anger, pride (one of my biggest faults, BTW), envy, past regrets? Been lied to, or about, or otherwise slandered? Or perhaps you are just in a season of things not going particularly badly, but not exactly good either.
What do you need to achieve that peace? Sometimes, as Christians, I think we miss a grand opportunity during our weekly Sharing of the Peace. We get so caught up in the pageant, we miss the purpose. Somewhere, inside that Sanctuary (for some, that is the only safe space they see all week), someone is desperately in need of that peace. We are to share whatever peace we have with each other, usually via a handshake or a hug. Sometimes we see the need, and acknowledge it. A lot of times, we don't, if only because it is covered up with a coat of "I don't want anybody to know anything is wrong.".
Lest you think this is specific to Christians, anybody can achieve this inner peace. First, there has to be is a willingness to admit that there are some things you may never understand, especially as tragedy and difficulties go. Second, know that you absolutely cannot control every circumstance and every person around you, nor should you try. Last, know that once you have put forth your very best effort, sometimes there really is nothing left to do but wait. All of these things were hard for me to do, but I needed to work on them in order to be a better daughter, sister, mother and friend. Let me tell it, I still have a long way to go, but like anyplace in life worth going, the destination is often far less interesting than the journey.
Wherever you are in your journey today, I hope it is well with your soul. May peace be with you, today and always.