Mothers for Prodigals

Sunday, December 25, 2016

A Time of Tribute

He drops to his knees in reverence. The one most people talk about at Christmas time worships the One Christmas truly represents. Santa Claus pays homage to the Christ Child. 

It’s my favorite Christmas decoration. The Truth resonates from this small figurine. Because it speaks volumes, I leave it out all year. The kneeling Santa epitomizes the importance of baby Jesus. 

He is the reason for the season, this small babe. Yet the big business of secular Christmas bombards us. Our commercial society continuously tempts us with advertisements of things. Billboards relentlessly remind us of stuff. Store owners regularly rearrange their window displays with the newest trends. 

It all means nothing when confronted by the newborn King. We drop to our knees before His powerful peace. Our hearts move toward compassion as we accept His gracious forgiveness. The extreme love of a Sovereign God humble enough to become one of us is extraordinary. We creatures halt our hurried pace and bow before our Creator God.

In the stillness all else pales into insignificance before an Almighty God. His glory fills the air. We’re humbled beyond belief because of Who He is.

Worship with me. Bow before the newborn King, the One born to save. He is our loving Heavenly Father, providing peace that passes all understanding. Will you choose to honor Him?

It's your choice though one day every knee will bow, freely or forced. One day every knee all over the world will bow before the Maker and Redeemer of all the earth. He is God. Choose now to worship Him, the King of kings. He came to earth for you. Receive His supreme love. 

For with God nothing [is or ever] shall be impossible.” Then Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.” And the angel left her. Luke 1:37-38 (AMP)

Since we have a Kingdom nothing can destroy, let us please God by serving him with thankful hearts and with holy fear and awe. Hebrews 12:28 (TLB)

It is written: “‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God.’” Romans 14:11 (NIV)

Maranatha Singers - Come Let Us Worship and Bow Down.....

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Light of Life

“Why haven’t you turned on the Christmas tree lights? You’ve always turned them on during your morning devotions,” my husband asked. 

“I just haven’t,” I quickly responded, hiding the real answer in my wounded heart. 

After he left, wet drops of pain hit my lap. Mom is dead. Doesn’t anyone remember that? Why should I turn on Christmas lights when a light in my life has gone out? Forget this Christmas cheer. 

Many people struggle with life’s hardships, especially during holiday seasons. It’s not easy to experience “good tidings of great joy” (Luke 2:10) when gloomy conditions exist. The first instinct of a suffering soul is to curl up in a corner and sob. And for a moment, this release is necessary. But then what? Life continues minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day. The human condition dispenses both delight and despair. How do we manage life's ups and downs?

God understands His human creations. He knows His people. Even though He made all things good at the foundation of the world, sin entered in, bringing sorrow and death. Immediately He devised a plan to save His people, yet waited for the proper time to fulfill it. 

Believe it or not, the God of the universe chose to invade our sin and darkness. Prophets of old foretold His coming to earth. Isaiah powerfully penned the prophecy with hope. Peel back the layer of hurt from your heart and allow his words to penetrate your wounds. 

Nevertheless, that time of darkness and despair shall not go on forever. Though soon the land of Zebulun and Naphtali will be under God’s contempt and judgment, yet in the future these very lands, Galilee and northern Transjordan, where lies the road to the sea, will be filled with glory. The people who walk in darkness shall see a great Light—a Light that will shine on all those who live in the land of the shadow of death. For Israel will again be great, filled with joy like that of reapers when the harvest time has come, and like that of men dividing up the plunder they have won. For God will break the chains that bind his people and the whip that scourges them, just as he did when he destroyed the vast host of the Midianites by Gideon’s little band. In that glorious day of peace there will no longer be the issuing of battle gear; no more the bloodstained uniforms of war; all such will be burned.

For unto us a child is born; unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder. These will be his royal titles: “Wonderful,” “Counselor,” “The Mighty God,” “The Everlasting Father,” “The Prince of Peace.” His ever-expanding, peaceful government will never end. He will rule with perfect fairness and justice from the throne of his father David. He will bring true justice and peace to all the nations of the world. This is going to happen because the Lord of heaven’s armies has dedicated himself to do it!  Isaiah 9:1-7 (TLB)

The drapes of darkness have been undone. A heavenly light shines into our situation. See the glow. Feel the warmth. An enthusiasm for something better grows.

Jesus Christ fulfilled prophecy. He entered into our human condition as a baby thousands of years ago. The Creator God chose to enter His creation to demonstrate a better life. He brought the Kingdom of God to earth, offering to fill believers’ hearts with joy. He is the “good news of great joy for all people.” 

Turn on the lights. Allow Christ to dispel your darkness. You’ll soon see things differently.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139:14 (NIV)

But when the Father sends the Comforter instead of me—and by the Comforter I mean the Holy Spirit—he will teach you much, as well as remind you of everything I myself have told you. John 14:26 (NIV)

You, O Lord, are our Father; Our Redeemer from Everlasting is Your name. Isaiah 63:16 (NKJV)

“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart! And the peace I give isn’t fragile like the peace the world gives. So don’t be troubled or afraid. John 14:27 (TLB)

The mighty God, the Lord, has summoned all mankind from east to west! God’s glory-light shines from the beautiful Temple on Mount Zion. Psalm 50:1-2 (TLB)

Thank you, Lord God, for your good news of great joy. As you shine on me, let my light shine for others to see. In the precious name of Jesus, AMEN.

Matt Redman's "Help from Heaven".....

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Have Faith in God

“Let not your heart be troubled. You are trusting God, now trust in me. There are many homes up there where my Father lives, and I am going to prepare them for your coming.” John 14:1-2 (TLB)

“…..The Lord is with you.” Luke 1:28 (NIV)

“Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. Mark 11:22 (NIV)

For we live by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7 (NIV)

Thwack. Thwack. Whap. The sounds of repair work in the basement suddenly drifted to the room above where Mom lay dying. “Mom, they’re building your mansion in heaven. Can you hear it?” I said.

No response came but I knew Mom heard. Earlier the hospice nurse reminded my family that hearing is the last to go in the throes of death. Evidence failed to prove Mom heard me, yet breath moved in and out of her seemingly lifeless body. Pale and bruised with bed sores developing, she groaned every time we attempted to gently move her. Her deteriorating earthly life progressed toward a hopeful heavenly end. Her mansion in glory awaited. 

Are you living in the midst of a desperate situation? Does evidence surrounding your situation point to a demise of sorts? Have you lost all hope that anything will change?

Have faith. God is in control. He is with you. Believe in the name of Jesus. Trust Him and keep hoping. The best is yet to come. 

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us—they help us learn to be patient. And patience develops strength of character in us and helps us trust God more each time we use it until finally our hope and faith are strong and steady. Then, when that happens, we are able to hold our heads high no matter what happens and know that all is well, for we know how dearly God loves us, and we feel this warm love everywhere within us because God has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. Romans 5:3-5 (TLB)

The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Deuteronomy 31:8 (NIV)

So do not fear, for I am with you;
    do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)

Jeremy Camp's "Walk by Faith".....

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Thanks Be To God

I’m walking through a season of grief as I mourn the loss of my mom. Many family members and friends have offered their sympathy. Those supporting hands of comfort lift my spirits. In return I offer thanks for my blessings. 

Insulating my heart from the deep sting of death is the truth of my living Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He overcame sin and death through the power of His resurrection. The grave could not hold Him—He now lives forever (Romans 6:9). 

Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift (2 Corinthians 9:15). 

Gratitude is a heart expression. As Christ freely offers me grace, my praises echo back to Him. Writing thank you notes to individuals who have extended condolences to my family grant a sense of peace. I profess thanksgivings to the God who comforts me. My thanks go forth to people living as extensions of His grace and mercy on my behalf. Thanks be to God!

T - Thanks to our Almighty God
H - Hallelujah to the Lord
A - Adoration goes to Jesus
N - None greater than He
K - King of Kings
S - Salvation brings
G - Glorious is our God
I - Immanuel, God with us
V - Victorious is our Savior
I - I AM is great indeed
N - Never leaving nor deserting us
G - Great is Almighty God

Oh give thanks to the Lord, call upon His name; Make known His deeds among the peoples. 1 Chronicles 16:8 (NASB)

But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” 1 Corinthians 15:54-55 (NASB)

Natalie Grant's "Your Great Name".....

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Do You Trust Me?

        T - Trouble’s
        R - Refuge
        U - Under
        S - Salvation’s 
        T - Truth

Are you suffering from a lack of trust? Do your eyes focus on current circumstances? Is your mind stayed on misery? 

“Stop with the fear,” says the Lord God. “I will walk where you walk. I’m right beside you. You are so precious to Me. I love you.”

God repeats His Words throughout Scripture and provides proof of following through. Do we believe Him? Do we literally live out trust in the loving God of the universe? Or do we choose to suffer in the bowels of earthly captivity? 

Trembling and shaky, Mom held on tight to me. Only inches away, I braced myself to transfer her from wheelchair to sofa. “Come on, Mom, move your foot. You can do this. We’re so close. Don’t you trust me?”

My mother’s moans and trepidation said no. Her recent fall created fear of another collapse. She lacked the strength to move on her own while also needing to trust the stronger arms supporting her. Fear, distrust, immobility, nervousness—gloom hung in the air.

Honesty brings us face to face with our own daunting lack of trust. If it were me in a debilitative state, would I trust my daughter to move me from place to place? In daily life, do I trust Almighty God to take care of me and all my concerns? Over and over again His Word tells me of His support, His nearness, His commitment to stay with me forever. He loves me too much to let go. Why then do I continue to shake and whimper with fear?

It’s human nature to focus on earthly situations, but God has given us hope through His Son Jesus Christ. With a hopeful heart and His helpful hands, focus on eternity. Fix your eyes on actual things above instead of the faulty things of earth. 

No matter what you walk through, the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will stand by your side till the
end. He already carried your sins to the
cross and died in your place. Don’t you think He can handle any situation before you? 

Trust Him. He is faithful
and true. He loves you. 

But now, says the Lord—
the one who created you, Jacob,
    the one who formed you, Israel:
Don’t fear, for I have redeemed you;
    I have called you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
    when through the rivers, they won’t sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire, you won’t be scorched
    and flame won’t burn you.
I am the Lord your God,
    the holy one of Israel, your savior.
I have given Egypt as your ransom,
    Cush and Sea in your place.
Because you are precious in my eyes,
    you are honored, and I love you. Isaiah 43:1-4 (CEB)

Lauren Daigle's "Trust in You".....

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Christ's Assurance

“All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen.” —-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Do you fear the unknown? Are you afraid your future may contain a maze of hazards? Many of us worry about the unforeseen things in our lives. We desire to protect ourselves and our families against possible outcomes. One way to provide protection is through monetary means.

We buy insurance—health, home, auto, life—in hopes of providing the means to take care of ourselves and/or families should accidents, disease, or death befall us. Insurance is a guarantee of compensation for the payment of a premium. Paying insurance premiums gives assurance for days ahead. But sometimes insurance details surprise us if we haven’t read the fine print. 

Consider the amount of time and money spent on a variety of insurance plans and investments. We prepare while we’re able for a profitable future when we’re unable. Buying into different assets seems to give hope for the future. We plan for those times just in case something occurs. 

And then it happens—reality. Years have gone by and the dreaded disaster transpires. Your declining health may require residency in a nursing home. Your children assist you in contacting one and together a decision is reached. Then someone reads the insurance policy and discovers it doesn’t “kick in” for 90 days. You must pay out of pocket until the 91st day (this actually happened to my mom).

What if you don’t have 90 days? What now? Didn’t you guard against such stuff? You paid and strategically planned for your future with care. The time ahead seemed secure. 

But the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry wrote Robert Burns in his poem entitled “To a Mouse.” Yes, the best plans often go awry. We have no control over our future. Earthly plans have no guarantees. 

The only certainty in life is the blessed assurance of salvation through Jesus Christ. God, our Heavenly Father, planned a hopeful future for you and me. He loved His creation so much that He sent His Son to die for us, offering joy in the moment and hope for eternity. He is faithful and true—a promise-keeper. By investing in faith and belief in the name Jesus, we are guaranteed forgiveness of sins and life everlasting.

God’s Words are not cloaked in fine print. They are not concealed or hidden. They’ve been handed down to us through patriarchs, prophets, disciples, and apostles of the Lord. His desire for us is to read His revelation and hear with our hearts. God longs for all of creation to believe and be saved by the blood of Jesus. Christ is our blessed assurance for life and life eternal. 

"Blessed Assurance" by THIRD DAY....

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. John 3:16-18 (NASB)

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1 (NASB)

…that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Colossians 2:2-3 (NASB)

For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end… Hebrews 3:14 (NASB)

And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. Hebrews 6:11-12 (NASB)

Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Hebrews 10:19-22 (NASB)

For the word of the Lord is upright, And all His work is done in faithfulness. Psalm 33:4 (NASB)

For the Lord is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting And His faithfulness to all generations. Psalm 100:5 (NASB)

Sunday, November 6, 2016


A farmer plows the earth, creating furrows in the ground. He plants seeds and covers them with dirt. He waters the ground as he is able and trusts nature to do the rest. He waits for growth.

A mother and father raise two children, instilling godly values. They teach God’s Word, attend church, and pray regularly. One child eventually walks away from these life lessons. The parents humbly bow before Heavenly Father and pray. They wait for their child’s return. 

Over two hundred years ago, a new country emerged, building its principals around God. Today many Americans have turned away from God-instilled morals, creating dissension and division. Corruption infests our nation. In the midst of this chaos, votes are being cast for our future with a new leader. Many Christians are on their knees praying for God to wake up His church to the truth of His Word, to stand firm and speak up for God. We wait for the future before us. 

What are you waiting for?

Two weeks ago my mother passed away in her home. My sisters and I tended to her needs for nearly a week as a hospice nurse visited with medications and advice about the stages of death. We prayed, we sang, and held Mom’s hands as we stood around the hospital bed. With a cross physically in her hand and literally in our minds, we waited for Jesus to take her to eternal glory. We waited for physical death in order for Christ Jesus to grant her eternal life.

Faith waits. Faith stands firm on God’s promises and waits for His fulfillment in His own timing, not ours. In due season He will bring about His will for His people. Faith believes and trusts in God, knowing that He stands by our side as we wait for the accomplishment of His plan for our lives.

He stands by our side as we wait for the accomplishment of His plan for our lives.

After Jesus Christ arose from the dead and ascended into heaven, God promised to return to earth one day and make all things new. He will dispel darkness and restore righteousness. Believers in Jesus will live with Him for eternity. Those who reject Him will face everlasting death. 

But God….

God desires for all to join Him. His love for creation sent Jesus into the world, so all may be saved (John 3:16). At His ascension He commanded His disciples to spread the good news of His salvation to all the earth. Throughout the ages, His invisible attributes, eternal power, and divine nature have been exhibited (Romans 1:20). Now He waits for the lost to repent, turn to Him, and be saved. His patient love desires all people to be saved. So He waits—is He waiting on you?

Well then, what are you waiting for?

Do you know the Heavenly Father? Have you asked Jesus to forgive your sins? He is waiting for you to repent and believe in Jesus’ name. He desires to redeem you. Are you ready to proclaim your belief and live out faith in Jesus Christ from now through eternity?

Don’t wait to get to know Him. Bow now and declare your trust in Jesus. He’ll run to you and never leave you. He’ll pour out His gracious mercy on you and faithfully stand by your side. He’ll wait with you as you wait for His fulfillment in your life. 

He’ll wait with you as you wait for His fulfillment in your life.

In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly. Psalm 5:3 (NIV)

Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. Psalm 27:14 (NIV)

We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. Psalm 33:20 (NIV)

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. Psalm 37:7 (NIV)

Lord, I wait for you; you will answer, Lord my God. Psalm 38:15 (NIV)

I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. Psalm 40:1 (NIV)

If someone dies, will they live again? All the days of my hard service I will wait for my renewal to come. Job 14:14 (NIV)

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5 (NIV)

They all wait for You
To give them their food in due season.
You give to them, they gather it up;
You open Your hand, they are satisfied with good.
You hide Your face, they are dismayed;
You take away their spirit, they expire
And return to their dust.
You send forth Your Spirit, they are created;
And You renew the face of the ground. Psalm 104:27-30 (NASB)

Therefore the Lord longs to be gracious to you, And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you. For the Lord is a God of justice; How blessed are all those who long for Him. Isaiah 30:18 (NASB)

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Does My Redeemer Live?

Can I honestly say, “I know that my Redeemer lives, and when I die, I will see God”? 

Pain comes in many shapes and sizes. It ranges from tiny cuts to torture to terrible disease to death. We’ve all experienced discomfort in some form or another. How have we responded? 

Gazing with earthly eyes, it appeared Horatio and Anna Spafford encountered tremendous tragedy (post from 10/9/16). And yes they faced unbearable pain. But the Spaffords lived life with a heavenly purpose, and though they lost children and material stuff, they trusted God to redeem all things. 

Remember: Horatio wrote “it is well with my soul”. 

Because they knew their Redeemer lived, they also believed their children lived with Him. They put confidence in the joy of knowing Jesus. They persevered through agony while looking forward to heavenly joy. 

Jesus knew heavenly joy, and He resolved on earth to endure pain because of the reward. Jesus, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:2). He looked forward to the joy of life eternal, even as He faced unimaginable torture and death. And He did it for you and me!

Can I say, “I know that my Redeemer lives, and when I die, I will see God.”

An upright and blameless Old Testament Biblical character named Job also endured tremendous tragedy. Job and his wife survived the loss of possessions and children in one day. Through all this calamity, his body developed boils from head to toe. His wife taunted him with the temptation to curse God and die. 

Though he faced excruciating earthly situations and grappled with them, he eventually came to this confirming conclusion about God. In the midst of suffering, Job said without a doubt, “As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last He will take His stand on the earth” (Job 19:25). 

Job believed his Lord lived on in eternity and he knew he would see Him on the other side. He confidently made that statement to his friends who questioned his belief. He assuredly spoke those words as pain gripped his heart. He hopefully claimed his belief while miserable circumstances surrounded him. With resolution, he stood firm through his struggles.

Though I too struggle with earthly trials, with doubts, with fears for family, faith, my nation, and the world, I still desire to stand with Horatio, Anna, Job, and Jesus. I want to be able to say with courage and conviction, “I know that my Redeemer lives, and when I die, I will see God.”

What pain bears down on you now? What sorrows do you face? How are you responding to your situation?


Remember the trials of Horatio Spafford. Bear in mind the misery of Job. Be mindful of the fact that you have a Savior who died for you, a Redeemer who desires for you to experience joy with Him. `

Joy awaits, so stand firm in the power of your mighty Redeemer. Your soul will be well. 

P.S. Do you want to know the end of Job’s story? I hope you’ll read about it in the book of Job found in the Old Testament. In the meantime, pore over some statements below made by Job as he wrestled with the reality of his heartbreaking earthly trials and the promise of a joy-filled heavenly purpose.

My soul is in deep anguish. How long, Lord, how long? Psalm 6:3 (NIV)

This, at least, gives me comfort despite all the pain—that I have not denied the words of the holy God. Job 6:10 (TLB)

“Therefore I will not keep silent; I will speak out in the anguish of my spirit, I will complain in the bitterness of my soul. Job 7:11 (NIV)

“I loathe my very life; therefore I will give free rein to my complaint and speak out in the bitterness of my soul. Job 10:1 (NIV)

“But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and that he will stand upon the earth at last. And I know that after this body has decayed, this body shall see God! Then he will be on my side! Yes, I shall see him, not as a stranger, but as a friend! What a glorious hope! Job 19: 25-27 (TLB)

Have I not wept for those in trouble? Has not my soul grieved for the poor? Job 30:25 (NIV)

He refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Psalm 23:3 (NIV)

Bless the Lord, the God of Israel, who exists from everlasting ages past—and on into everlasting eternity ahead. Amen and amen! Psalm 41:13 (TLB)

Enjoy praising your Redeemer...... - "I Know That My Redeemer Lives"  - Nicole C. Mullen - "My Redeemer Lives" 

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Is It Well With My Soul?

Without a doubt, can I truly say, “It is well with my soul?” 

Last week in my blog post, I linked the song “It Is Well With My Soul” sung by Chris Rice. The powerful words of this old hymn tend to inspire me, but do I believe what I'm saying? Is it really okay with my soul if I lost everything, EVERYTHING—parents, husband, children, grandchildren, business, house, job? What if someone threatened to put me to death unless I recanted my belief in Jesus? How would I respond? Would I be able to gallantly sing this song? 

I recently asked myself those questions after an early morning phone call. A security company called our home telling my husband and me that our son’s house alarm was going off. My son, his wife, and their two children live in the home. The company couldn’t get an answer from either of their phones, so they called us. My mind scattered into a thousand possibilities. Did someone enter their home to burglarize and kill? Did carbon monoxide infiltrate their home and cause death. My racing mind landed in several scenarios while my body numbed and my stomach lurched. 

Praise God it turned out to be a false alarm, a mix-up with their phones. Thank you, Jesus, that my family is alive and well! And then I cried as questions rushed my mind. What if all was not well? Would I allow fear to take over?

Without a doubt, could I truly say, “It is well with my soul?” 

Consider the life of the one who penned the beautiful hymn—Horatio Spafford. This man and his wife encountered tremendous tragedies. In 1871 they lost their son to pneumonia. That same year they lost much of their business during the great fire in Chicago. Eventually they rebuilt the business.

Several years later, Horatio and his wife Anna planned a trip to Europe. An unexpected business glitch delayed Horatio’s travels, but he sent Anna and their four daughters on the scheduled ocean liner, promising to be reunited with them as soon as possible. 

Four days into the journey, the ocean liner collided with another ship. In less than fifteen minutes, 226 passengers, including the four Spafford girls, lost their lives as it sunk. A sailor, rowing a small boat near the accident area, discovered Anna floating on wreckage. He pulled her into his boat where they waited to be picked up by a larger vessel. 

Nine days later they landed in Wales. Anna immediately wired her husband and told him the horrible news. Childless—now the remaining four of their children dead. Unimaginable pain.

Horatio immediately booked passage on the next available ship. When passing over the area where his daughters met death, inspiration deep within his soul found its way onto paper.

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. 

How could he declare it is well with his soul? Who or what strengthened him to stand strong within a storm of sorrow? 

If you are familiar with church, the Sunday School answer is Jesus. And yes, the correct response is Jesus. But simply knowing the answer is not enough. Knowing Jesus personally gives affirmation of the source of strength and peace.

Only Jesus takes us through tragedy.

          Only Jesus strengthens. 

                    Only Jesus grants peace.

Horatio and Anna knew Jesus! They understood His strength and they understood His sufferings. They believed He suffered and died for them so that they could live eternally forever with Him.

Jesus encountered the cross for the joy set before Him, the joy of eternal life with the Heavenly Father, the joy for all who believe in Him as Savior (Hebrews 12:2). Even as He lived on earth, He gazed at the world through eternal eyes. Because of their belief in Jesus, Horatio and Anna regarded worldly issues with eyes turned toward eternity. 

A pastor who also survived the ocean liner disaster later recalled something Anna said about her personal catastrophe. “God gave me four daughters. Now they have been taken from me. Someday I will understand why,” she stated with conviction. 

Horatio and Anna envisioned hope and a future with eternity's eyes. They believed in God’s promises. I believe those promises of God too—He has been good to me. He gives me courage to gaze toward eternity rather than dwelling on the situations around me. Can you look at your circumstances with eternal eyes? 

Without a doubt, can you truly say, “It is well with my soul?”

PS. God blessed Anna and Horatio with three more children, but one died at age four with pneumonia. Two of the children survived their parents. The Spaffords moved to Jerusalem in 1881. It is there that Horatio died and is buried.

Bless the Lord, the God of Israel, who exists from everlasting ages past—and on into everlasting eternity ahead. Amen and amen! Psalm 41:13 (NIV)

And Jesus said to him, “‘If You can?’ All things are possible to him who believes.” Immediately the boy’s father cried out and said, “I do believe; help my unbelief.” Mark 9:23-24 (NASB)

You will keep in perfect peace
    those whose minds are steadfast,
    because they trust in you.
Trust in the Lord forever,
    for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal. Isaiah 26:4 NIV

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs, and don’t forget to thank him for his answers. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far
more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will keep your thoughts and your hearts quiet and at rest as you trust in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 (TLB)

The Lord bless you, and keep you;

The Lord make His face shine on you,
And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance on you,

And give you peace.’ Numbers 6:24-26 (NASB)

"It Is Well With My Soul" - Audrey Assad