In 1871, Horatio Spafford, a prosperous lawyer and devout Presbyterian church elder and his wife, Anna, were living comfortably with their four young daughters in Chicago. In that year the great fire broke out and devastated the entire city. Two years later the family decided to vacation with friends in Europe. At the last moment Horatio was detained by business, and Anna and the girls went on ahead, sailing on the ocean liner S.S. Ville de Havre. On November 21, 1873, the liner was rammed amid ship by a British vessel and sank within minutes. Anna was picked up unconscious on a floating spar, but the four children had drowned. Nine days after the shipwreck Anna landed in Cardiff, Wales, and cabled Horatio, “Saved alone. What shall I do…”
After receiving Anna’s telegram, Horatio immediately left Chicago 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 had perished. He wrote to Rachel, his wife’s half-sister, “On Thursday last we passed over the spot where she went down, in mid-ocean, the waters three miles deep. But I do not think of our dear ones there. They are safe, folded, the dear lambs.”
Horatio wrote this hymn, still sung today, as he passed over their watery grave.
When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
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!
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.
I pray that You would redeem this tragedy in Korea into songs of declaration and praise and testimonies like this one. “It is well with my soul.” To the hopeless and the grieving, would You become their hope and comfort.
"This encourages our faith; If Christ takes away the sin of the world, then why not my sin? He bore sin for us, and so bears it from us. God could have taken away sin, by taking away the sinner, as he took away sin from the old world; but here is a way of doing away sin, yet sparing the sinner, by making His Son sin, that is, a sin offering, for us. See Jesus taking away sin, and let that cause hatred of sin, and resolutions against it. Let us not hold that fast, which the Lamb of God came to take away.”
Some nights you’re dying to stay asleep.
Some nights you’re dying in your sleep.
“The Lord was with Joseph and he became a successful man.”
“… the Lord was with him and the Lord caused all that he did to succeed in his hands…”
“But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love and gave him favor…”
“… because the Lord was with him. And whatever he did, the Lord made it succeed.”
When read this passage earlier this week, these words struck me, because I wanted badly what Joseph had. Not his nearness to God, but the success and gifts that followed.
Says so much about the state of my heart, right?
So I prayed that I would want God more than His gifts. That I would want Him at all again. That I would be broken again.
And then I fell asleep.
While I was praying Thursday night, these words came back to me: The Lord was with Joseph… The Lord was with Joseph…
and then they came alive.
The Lord was with Joseph…
The Lord was with Tara…
The Lord was with me…
The Lord is with me.
And the voice just kept whispering over and over. I am with you. His presence was so real and it wrapped me up in a way that I hadn’t felt in a while. In His grace, He showed me how near He truly is. He is HERE.
If anyone is on tumblr procrastinating for finals like I am, let me tell you something.
GOD IS WITH YOU.
In the midst of all your assignments and stress and uncertainties, the Lord is WITH you. It doesn’t matter whether or not we have all the success and gifts that Joseph had, because like Joseph, we have the ultimate gift. We have access God HIMSELF through the gift of His Son. What a crazy, undeserved gift. In seasons of dryness, what an awesome reminder of His love and nearness to me. In QTs that seem pointless, in prayers that seem empty, and in life that becomes overwhelming, He is still present and working- even in seasons of dryness. Press on, because the Lord is with you!
… And here I was starting to think the OT was like sunday school bedtime stories. HAH!
For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul spirit, joints and marrow it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
This time freshman year, I hated going to church.
As a senior, Sunday mornings bring me so much joy and rejuvenation.
And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
God, can you redeem Monday’s too?
I still hate those.
I never thought I would be the one to say this, but…
I’m afraid of commitment.
Recently I’ve been struggling to commit to making any kind of decision about my future, more specifically in the field of social work. I’m in this in-between, because even searching for schools and applying means that I have made a decision about taking this path. Working in this field has been heavy on my heart for the past couple of months. It’s crazy because I never even considered this field until the end of last semester.
All these thoughts run through my mind. What if it’s not really my calling? What if I don’t get into grad school? What if I go and there are no doors? What if I’m meant to be a counselor or a teacher, not a social worker? What if? What if?
A conversation I had with a sister really struck me this weekend. Sometimes it’s not always about the outcome. It’s not about the end result, but the process of getting there.
I guess the better question to ask myself rather than What if I don’t succeed? is… Am I walking with God through this? The end is never really guaranteed. If everything is taken from me after I reach my goal will it still have been worth it?
I get so caught up in thinking that I need to get this degree or this job in order to serve God in this world. But what is the point in serving Him if I don’t know and love the God I am serving? Yes, he uses these things to do His kingdom work, but am I walking with Him toward this goal? Am I enjoying His presence? Am I trusting in Him that He will accomplish His will in my life, whatever that looks like?
Then I realize that this fear of commitment comes from a fear of failure. Failing to live out my calling. Failing the people I love, failing God.
oh you of little faith.
& so He reminds me through scripture…
You are my beloved daughter and princess. 1 John 3:1
I don’t need you to DO anything for me, I just want you to love me and enjoy my presence. Luke 38:41-42
Your worth is given to you through what I have ALREADY done. Ephesians 2:8
I know your future, calm yoself. Jeremiah 29:11
I love you. Romans 8:39
So with a new heart I start my search for grad schools.
If my future kids are anything like me…
I hope for all our sakes that their daddy is a
The more I look at my heart, the more I want to look away. God is continuing to uncover the filth in me and He is bringing it to light. But it’s been good.
Kind of like a cavity.
If you don’t know that it’s there, it slowly rots away in the back of your mouth. Sometimes it’s so far gone by the time you find it, you can’t save it. I hate going to the dentist but it’s better to go before I need dentures, ya know?
Praise God! In His rebuke, He is not discouraging me, but allowing me to see all that junk that is being taken out of my heart.
Kind of like popping a pimple.
There’s a weird satisfaction knowing that all that gunk is no longer on yo face.
23 Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.