The Calm Amid the Storm

When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to know,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.


(By Horatio Spafford)

I was listening to this song the other day and began to wonder how I would explain it to someone who doesn’t know Christ.

What does “It is well with my soul” even mean?

As I pondered this, a picture came to mind of Jesus asleep on a ship. This was just an ordinary ship but the situation was far from ordinary. You see, there was a furious storm which was threatening to swamp the ship and maybe even sink it.

The sailors, who just happened to be Jesus’ disciples were terrified, the waves were crashing around them, the storm was raging and there seemed to be no escape.

Yet in the middle of it all, on board that doomed vessel, a man was calmly sleeping.

AsĀ unbelievableĀ as it may sound, there was an area of peace and stillness right there in the thick of the problems.

The disciples came to Jesus and woke him and with a word, he calmed the wind and waves and the disciples were amazed (Luke 8:22-25).

Where is the link between “It is well with my soul” and this story of Jesus calmly sleeping?

Well, it’s this: Many times in life, problems and troubles around us threaten to overcome us. The storms rage, the world seems to be collapsing before our eyes and disaster seems immanent but somewhere inside of us, when we have Jesus in our lives, there is an area of calm, of peace, of comfort – it’s the place where Jesus dwells within us.

Having that area of peace tells us one thing. No matter what may happen, no matter how hard the trials may get, we have an assurance, a promise which cannot be broken, that our future is secure.

I can say at all times that “It is well with my soul” because although at times it may seem like I’m like that boat in the storm about to get swamped, Jesus is there, not sleeping as he was then, but rather bringing that inner peace which cannot be understood without knowing him.

I’m going through my own trials right now and there are days when I feel like it’s all going to overwhelm me, yet there has never been a day when I could not sing that song with conviction because Jesus was bringing his peace and calm to my soul.

It is well, it is well with my soul!