Is it well with your soul?

| January 24, 2018 | 0 Comments
Herden

Herden

Chaplain (Capt.) Jeff Herden
2nd Battalion, 25 Aviation Regiment
25th Combat Aviation Brigade
25th Infantry Division

“Warning: Ballistic missile is inbound for Hawaii. Immediately proceed to shelter. This is not a drill.”

We all exhaled a great collective sigh of relief after learning this warning, which blew up our cellphones Jan. 13, was erroneously sent.

The mistake made national headlines. More than that, it catapulted many islanders into a state of panic.

We were confronted with the harsh reality that our lives could end very suddenly, which brings me to the subject I would like us all to consider. How do you truly find peace in a world that is constantly threatening you?

Footsteps in Faith

Footsteps in Faith

Many threats

Threats are hardly limited to intercontinental ballistic missiles. We watched helplessly as three hurricanes crushed and devastated people across the American south. Friends of ours in California recently had their home reduced to ash by an untamable wildfire.

An opioid crisis in America threatens to devastate our youth. Whether it’s child trafficking, government shutdown, gang violence or unstable dictators, across the world, there are looming and dangerous threats that people face every day.

The human heart craves peace, a sense of wellness and equilibrium. But how can one find any peace in such a violent world?

Some face it with a kind of fatalism: “Well, if it’s my time, then it’s my time.” Others seek to logically apply principles of pop psychology: “Well, I can’t control the weather or what North Korea does, so no use getting all spun up.”

Sigmund Freud postulated that religion was invented as a kind of evolutionary adaptation to threats beyond human control. Karl Marx similarly called religion the “opiate of the masses” a kind of drug that tranquilizes us from overwhelming fear of the unknown. So according to them, belief in God or gods was a way for humans to find peace in a world cruelly subject to chance forces. Were they right?

Finding peace

I suggest peace can be truly found and truly maintained. It requires no mental gymnastics. It can be experienced every day no matter what may happen in life.

Horatio Spafford was a wealthy man of great reputation and stature from the city of Chicago. Not long after losing much of his business in the great Chicago fire of 1871, his wife and four lovely daughters boarded the ship Ville du Harve bound for Europe. Four days into their journey, their ship collided with another vessel. Twelve minutes later, their ship sunk to the bottom of the Atlantic – 226 lives were lost, including the four Spafford children.

Mrs. Spafford, rescued by a small boat patrolling the collision site, later telegrammed her husband, “Saved alone. What shall I do?”

Mr. Spafford boarded a craft just a few days later to join his grieving wife in England. While en route, he penned the famous words of a beloved song enshrined in hymnals: “When peace like a river, attends my way; when sorrows like sea billows roll, whatever my lot, you have taught me to say, it is well, it is well with my soul.”

Mr. Spafford was a man at peace with God. His peace was rooted in a God who never changes. To him, his belief had nothing to do with finding an opiate for his grief, but was rooted in the character of a God who loved him, saved his soul and promised never to leave nor forsake him.

So many restless hearts have found true rest in the God who inspired Horatio Spafford to write that immortal hymn. May the peace that sustained him through overwhelming tragedy be discovered by many thirsty souls in 2018.

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Category: Footsteps in Faith, Safety, Standing Columns

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