There are days that feel like years and moments that feel like whispers of time.
There are weeks that seem to wade out into oblivion and seconds that fly by with the speed of sound. There are moments that I feel more and more like the weakest of John Bunyan’s characters who jumped at the sight of their own shadow. There are times when I can only take the thing most precious to me – His Word – and hold it tightly and cry into it because I am so weak but wish I were stronger. My faith, so feeble. My courage, so faint. My hope, so unseen. My love, so weak.
I laced my shoes this morning and went for a run at 6:00am. The air was finally cool and crisp, and after weeks of gooey, sticky mornings, this was a welcome sigh of joy. The morning woke as I ran. The sun started peaking up behind the trees, birds started stirring and chirping their golden songs, and ducks and geese began honking and landing in the lake around me with a splash. Warm and wet, I finished and stopped to gaze at it all. All of this – everything I haven’t touched or done a thing to ordain into existence. It’s just there – living, breathing, going on, regardless of whether I stand there and watch it or not. Gazing out over the glassy lake, the words came to mind: “when peace like a river attends 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.
It is well.
I cannot change my melancholy soul. I cannot change my deep, introspective nature. Sometimes, I think of myself as the man in John 9. The blind man whom Jesus healed. They asked, who sinned, that this man was born blind? Jesus said, it was not the man’s fault or his parents’ fault; but it is so the works of God might be displayed in him. Sometimes I wonder, what can you do with an introspective, solemn, melancholy, unholy, faithless being as myself? Even the rocks and lakes and trees cry out your glory. The world is kept by your hand. Nothing moves without you ordaining it to. The people walk because you allow it, and then sit and stand and work and make beautiful things because you allow it. You speak this world into existence and you hold it steady. You call the sun up every morning and nothing we do stops this or causes it to go on.
It is well.
You are God and you are faithful. You continue to be, even when kings and kingdoms rise and fall. There is nothing too hard for you. You take the lowliest, weakest soul and make it into something that will sing praise to you. You call these little people your own and you are their Father, gathering them from every corner of the earth.
It is well.
Oh, Father, let me hope in you. Even when I am so weak and tired and fearful and faithless. There are times when I wish I could just see you at last and be with you and all of this unrightenousness and fear would be wiped away. And along with it, every tear. I see so much sorrow in this world, so much guilt and pain and brokenness. I cannot help but feel it all. But you are here in the midst of it. You are calling your sheep and they hear your voice and you know them and they follow you and you will give them eternal life. They will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of your hand.
That is a promise.
And so, it is well.
Even when we feel the greatness of our soul’s poverty, we must dwell safety in the rock that stands firm against the fearful weather. We must cling to the only hand that can save us. We must hope in the embers of fire that stay burning forever. We must walk even when we stumble and cry for help. He will take us out of our soul’s poverty one day. One day we will be with Him and sing with Him.
And all will be well at last.