Peace in the storm

We all go through painful experiences, though, through varying degrees.  It is during those moments, God calls us to greater dependence upon Him and to look heavenward for strength.

The Psalmist says “Cast your burdens upon the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken (Psalm 55:22).

Spafford, a very successful businessman lost all his material possessions in the tragic Chicago fire in 1873.  Though the losses were huge, he did not crumble in disappointment because of His immense faith in God.  His inspiration was the words of Saint Paul’s advice to the Colossians “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things”(Colossians 3:2).

However, just a few weeks later when his wife and children were on board the ‘Ville du Havre’ to visit France, their ship was rammed by an English vessel and sank within two hours, claiming the lives of 226 people. 

Although his wife survived, all four children perished in the icy waters. While en route to Europe, to join his wife he was explained the tragic incident and later shown the spot in the mid-Atlantic where the shipwreck occurred.

Though struck with grief, Spafford suddenly felt an inner rush of spiritual energy, peace and comfort as he looked to the Lord for strength.

With tears welling up in his eyes, he picked up a pen to record his feelings.  From his heart flowed these beautiful words: “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 with my soul’.

Ever since these words were put to music, they have become an immortal source of solace for those going through pain, discouragement and fear.  Even to this day, the song is sung in churches throughout the world.

Sometimes God calms the storm and sometimes He lets the storm rage but calms His child.  Spiritual writer Jeremy Taylor says “We are safer in a storm with God, than anywhere else without Him”. When troubles surround you, do not ask God to give you a lighter burden, instead ask for stronger shoulders to carry them.

The Psalmist sings the reassurance of God’s abiding care for those going through dark moments in life with the imagery of a good Shepherd caring for the sheep.

 “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever” (Psalm 23:4-6).

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