Easter Message: It Is Well With My Soul

It is Well With My Soul
I’m sitting at my desk in a light-filled window, coasting on the heels of a wonderful Easter… transformative sermon at church, doubly blessed by a spectacular choir and chill-bump-inducing hallelujah chorus, lovely spring brunch on a sunny patio with loved ones.

This morning, my pastor spoke on “getting back to basics.”  In other words, reminding ourselves of our greatest gift of all ~ Good Friday.  He said, “If you’re not a Christian, Christ ~ and the gospel ~ will transform your life.  And if you are a Christian, GET EXCITED!”

Such a great message… why do we forget {all those other non-Easter days} that we have every reason to celebrate because HE LIVES?  In your life and in mine, in the big milestones and in the very mundane.  He shared that all other world religions teach believers how to find God.  In Christianity {the person of Jesus}, we have an all-loving God who came to earth to find US.  In spite of the fact that we only deserve His wrath, that we hopelessly lose the way on our own.

I love the upside-down-ness of Christianity.  Namely, that God chose to come to earth in human form ~ born in a manger, choosing a life of service ~ and called his children to “take up their crosses” {become lowly, give up control} to reach the heights of joy {His presence}.

This week, in reading over Christ’s journey to the cross, I was impacted ~ not only by His power, which could have taken Him down from the cross at any time ~ but by his humility and COMPLETE SURRENDER despite that power.  He knew what was coming and exactly what it would cost, but he chose to do it anyway so that your name and mine would be engraved on His palms, an assurance of our forever-life with Him.

Despite the knowledge of the death He would face, He said, above all…

Not my will, but thine be done.  {Luke 22:42}

In spite of everything, he gave his Father everything, fully submitted and proclaimed…

EVEN SO, it is well with my soul.

Even crucifixion on a cross.

One of my very favorite hymns ~ “It is Well with my Soul” ~ speaks from a soul wholly given to God.  So hard to imagine that someone who had lost absolutely everything he had in this world could pen these sweet words of surrender…

“When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,

When sorrows like sea billows roll;

What ever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,

It is well, it is well, with my soul…

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,

Let this blessed 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 in 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 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.

In “One Thousand Gifts” {one of the greatest little books I’ve ever read, by the way}, author Ann Voskamp addresses this ultimate surrender that makes God smile.  She says, “Eucharisteo {thankfulness} makes the knees the vantage point of a life and I bend the body, it says it quiet: ‘Thy will be done.’  This is the way a body and a mouth say thank you: Thy will be done.  This is the way the self dies, falls into the arms of Love.  This is why.  This is why the fight for joy is always so hard.”

She continues, “‘No one who ever said to God, ‘Thy will be done,’ and meant it with his heart, ever failed to find joy ~ not just in heaven, or even down the road in the future in this world, but in this world at this very moment,’ asserts Peter Kreeft.  ‘Every other Christian who has ever lived has found exactly the same thing in his own experience.  It is an experiment that has been performed over and over again billions of times, always with the same result.'”

Surrender control.  Leave absolutely everything at the foot of the cross.  Find joy in His presence.

Voskamp notes, “I am kneeling… in my memories of shattered glass and Jesus comes soft, ‘Thy will be done is My own joy story, child, from beginning to end.'”

Back to the basics.  Nothing fancy.  Jesus says… surrender all and you will find Me. And you’ll find joy like you’ve never known.

Hallelujah, HE IS RISEN.  And HE LIVES to intercede for us all.  It’s his very nature.  We’re engraved on the palms of His hands.

It is well, it is well with my soul.

Even so.

Happy Easter!

Claire Signature

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