Saturday, March 6, 2010

I Have the Right Cross

Today's Our Daily Bread mentioned the song It Is Well With My Soul by Horatio Spafford. I googled about it and found out that Spafford had written the song after a several traumatic events in his life. The first was the death of his only son in 1871, shortly followed by the great Chicago Fire which ruined him financially (he had been a successful lawyer) Then in 1873, he planned to travel to Europe with his family but sent them ahead while he was delayed on business concerning zoning problems following the Great Chicago Fire. While crossing the Atlantic, the ship sank rapidly after a collision with a sailing ship and all four of Spafford's daughters died. His wife Anna survived and sent him the now famous telegram, "Saved alone." Shortly afterwards, as Spafford traveled to meet his grieving wife, he was inspired to write the song as his ship passed near where his daughters had died. Wikipedia.

It Is Well With My Soul

When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
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.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life,
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.

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.

Horatio Spafford

This reminds me of a sermon that I heard when I was still really really young and my faith was still triple times fold of that really in my previous young. It's about a man who had the chance to come face to face with Jesus.

The man was carrying a cross and thought that he wants to change it because it's heavy and he can't carry it well. He went to Jesus and asked him for it be changed.

Jesus, then agreed and started to show and let him try one cross after the other. The man tried to carry and walk with the cross that Jesus had given him but after a few steps, he would complain and ask Jesus to change it again.

"It's too heavy." ""It's uneven." "It feels uncomfortable." "It feels nothing, I feel useless." "It's so light, I feel funny carrying it." Then, after a several tries he finally found the perfect cross.

"Jesus, I'll take this. It's not too heavy, not too light. It fits perfectly on my shoulders."
"Really? Well, that was your original cross.", He answered.

I know I was still young when I heard that sermon but it remained in my memory and heart because i like it. It was a simple story but it reminds me that Jesus knows what I want. Jesus knows what cross fits me.

When I heard that story I didn't paid much attention to the "it's so light." comment of the man. Just at this very moment I wondered, why would somebody return a light cross? I think we all want to have our cross to be light.

I reflected about that part as I was recalling the story.

I think, we can compare the "carrying of the cross" to weight lifting so we can tone our muscles. Carrying of the cross is the exercise for our soul. We need it to make our soul firm and healthy. Just like exercise that can help us boost our immune system and can make us feel good, the cross that we carry can also boost our faith, strengthen our trust and detoxify our hearts. A relatively light cross can maybe produce a result but it takes time and a too heavy cross can strain us and can cause us to be too exhausted to continue walking on our journey. ^_^

The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. —Philippians 4:7


Eaglewings said...

Another great article. How true it is that the sweetest joys comes from the deepest sorrows and the perfect peace comes after a wicked storm. When all is well with the soul then all is well with the world.

Thanks for sharing this thought.

Lori Laws said...

Hi Paige, how are you? Great post. "It is Well With my Soul" is such an anointed song. It came out of much tragedy, but you are exactly right... we can compare our "tragedies" as weight lifting to tone our muscles-our faith muscles!

Yes, what I initially viewed as a curse (Muscular Dystrophy), has actually been my greatest blessing:)

God bless!

Anonymous said...

Hi Paige,

So what kind of crosses are there? I mean: You can love and hate a man for being a man, and you can feel both wise and silly at the same time. But such crosses are incidental. What are the typical crosses?

Anonymous said...

There are four essential crosses, and we learn about them in the Story of The Creation. The first, the supreme cross, is the one given by wanting to be by God at the one hand and wanting to be flesh subjected to the care of God by the other. Heaven and earth. Christ is both the Son of God and the Son of Man.

The crosses are given by oppositions God makes for us to overcome. See my explanation <a href="" title="My blog 'The story of the creation'>here</a>.