When we lose our earthly blessings, whether that takes the form of financial losses or losses of far greater weight (like a spouse or a child or friend), those losses remind us of the fleeting nature of this world. We find ourselves confronted with the question, “What is there in this would that we can really cling to?” In those moments, we see very clearly that this life and all its blessings are so fragile. And this assesment lines up with the Scripture. Repeatedly God tells us that our lives and the earthly facets of them are nothing more than a vapor, a flower which blossoms and then fades away. However, God doesn’t tell us these things to make us feel depressed or discouraged. He is simply reminding us that this world is not our home and our hope doesn’t rest here.
That this truth was on Horatio Spafford’s mind as he grieved the loss of his four daughters is clear from the last two verses of his great hymn, It is Well with My Soul. Today, as we finish up this series of posts reflecting on his hymn, we will discover the hymn writer’s final secret for learning to say: “It is well with my soul.”
In the final two verses of his hymn, Spafford directed his attention to heaven- to glory. Look at what he writes:
But, Lord, ‘tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh trump of the angel! Oh voice of the Lord!
Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul!
And Lord, haste the day when my 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.
Do you notice how he begins? He begins by reminding himself of the goal- it is not the grave, but the sky. If the grave was the end (the “goal”), then this life would be everything- it would be all that we had. And when we lost something here, it would be truly tragic. But heaven (or the “sky”) is our goal, we live beyond this life, so the tragedies of this life need to be put in perspective. We need to see them in light of eternity.
But what does that mean, to see them in the light of eternity?
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