Something happened to me that’s never happened before. Yesterday, as I was driving to work, I felt an odd urge. It was an urge that I have felt before, but I usually don’t follow it. I just ignore these random things and logically push them away by busying myself with the things I need to do at the time.
As I was driving, I felt the strong desire to start singing old hymns. So I turned off the radio and just began to sing. It’s been a long time since I’ve even visited, much less regularly attended, a church that asks its congregation to thumb through the old hymnals to sing number 336. And so, for the most part, I’m only able to remember the first and most popular verses.
So I would begin to sing a song. Then I’d get to the end of the first verse or make it through the chorus just once, and I’d be forced to move on. I pulled out a little “Old Rugged Cross”, “In the Garden”, and “Holy, Holy, Holy”. But then I got to my very favorite hymn of all time: “It Is Well With My Soul”.
The lyrics were written by a man named Horatio Spafford. Spafford wrote the song after a series of tragedies in his life. His son was killed in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, which also destroyed his law practice. Only two years later, while crossing the Atlantic, the ship carrying his wife and four daughters collided with a sailing vessel and sank. Though his wife survived, all of his children were lost. Not long after, he traveled across the ocean to join his wife. When passing near the area that became his daughters’ resting place, he was inspired to write the words of that great hymn.
The song reminds us that in any circumstance in our lives, we can find peace. No matter what is going on, in good times and in bad, our souls can find rest when we go to the proper source. Relying on Christ as our strength gives us the ability to say it is well with our souls, no matter what.
So I sang through a few verses of this song and then I couldn’t go on. It wasn’t because I had forgotten the fourth verse. I was crying. At first my voice just began to shake a little and I tripped over the lyrics. Before I knew it, I had no voice and tears were streaming down my cheeks.
At first I wasn’t exactly sure what to do. I was driving and trying to see through tear-filled eyes. So I did the only logical thing I could think of. I prayed. I prayed hard. God had placed an urge on my heart that morning. And, for once, I decided not to be stubborn and just go with it. And through that, God put a crack in some of the walls I’ve spent so long building up.
It’s good to know that He is always there to reach out to me, even if I’ve been neglecting to reach out to Him. I just hope that the next time I feel His push, I’ll follow it, rather than ignore it.