Category Archives: Worship

It Is Well with My Soul

I know, I’ve skipped another day of blogging. I have things to write, I’m just stuck writing case study reports and solving econ problem sets. I’ve spent about 10 hours of my last three days in the library, if that gives you an idea of where I am.

But I wanted to share this with y’all really quick.

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I’ve heard this story twice in the past couple of days. And it made me cry. I haven’t been able to shake it’s weight upon my heart, especially in light of Advent reflections and heaviness in the lives of people I love and care about. You may not know the story, but you definitely know the song: It is well with my soul.

This hymn was written by Horatio Spafford in the 19th century. He was a lawyer in Chicago. He waited until his thirties to marry the love of his life, Anna. They had four daughters and a son. Their Christian fellowship included the family of Dwight and Emma Moody.

But then their only son died. The Great Chicago Fire of 1871 destroyed the investments that Spafford had spent years building. So, he did what any good father would do. Sensing his family’s need for space and rest, he planned a trip to Europe for his wife and four daughters. He planned on meeting them overseas and then traveling to a evangelistic campaign in England. He was only supposed to be a few days behind them and then they would be joyously reunited for a much needed time of healing.

Then he got news that there had been a collision.

The boat had sunk.

His four daughters had drowned. Only Anna survived.

With unimaginable heaviness, Spafford boarded the same means of transportation that had just claimed the lives of his beloved children. He knew that his grieving, devastated bride waited for him on the other side of his journey. His life was not what it had been a few years ago. I have to imagine that in that moment he felt a lot like Job. How was he supposed to believe in a good God when everything he loved had been so abruptly taken from him?

It was while he was sitting on the bow of the ship, watching the Atlantic waters that had swallowed up the lives of his girls, that Spafford began to write, began to pray:

when sorrows, like sea billows roll

whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say

it is well

it is well with my soul

I don’t know where you are right now. I don’t know what is weighing on your heart. Maybe it’s finals. Maybe it’s changing seasons. Maybe it’s sickness. Maybe it’s a lot heavier than you wanted or asked for or ever imagined.

Wherever you are, I pray the truth of these lyrics, penned in solidarity and truth, wash over you today. Jesus is near. Your sins are forgiven. You are loved. He is victorious. And whether it feels like it or not, it is well with your soul.

 

He is Good.

Come set Your rule and reign
In our hearts again
Increase in us we pray
Unveil why we’re made
Come set our hearts ablaze with hope
Like wildfire in our very souls
Holy Spirit come invade us now
We are Your Church
We need Your power
In us
//
We seek Your kingdom first
We hunger and we thirst
Refuse to waste our lives
For You’re our joy and prize
To see the captive hearts released
The hurt; the sick; the poor at peace
We lay down our lives for Heaven’s cause
We are Your church
We pray revive
This Earth
//
Build Your kingdom here
Let the darkness fear
Show Your mighty hand
Heal our streets and land
Set Your church on fire
Win this nation back
Change the atmosphere
Build Your kingdom here
We pray
//
Unleash Your kingdom’s power
Reaching the near and far
No force of hell can stop
Your beauty changing hearts
You made us for much more than this
Awake the kingdom seed in us
Fill us with the strength and love of Christ
We are Your church
We are the hope 
On Earth

//

Rend Collective, Build Your Kingdom Here

As I declared the truth of God through singing and communion with my student body and incoming freshmen last night. . .as friends posted videos of worship that continued on floors after All School . . .as I packed my backpack and set an alarm to workout before my first class. . .as I anticipate all that sophomore year will hold, I’m reminded of the profound and simple truth: He is good.

I’ve had this song stuck in my head all morning. If you don’t know it, I’d encourage you to look it up. It’s the kind of truth attached to a catchy tune that you want stuck in your head all day. I hope it encourages you, that whenever you are, whatever you are feeling, whatever you are doing, He is moving, He is speaking, He loves you, and He is good.

It’s in that truth and in that worship that darkness has no foothold. I heard at my church on Sunday that “worship is warfare.”

Let’s fight by just declaring who He is!

Have a lovely Monday.

Making Joyful Noises

Sacrificuim Deo spiritus contribulatus: cor contritum et humiliatum Deus, no despicies // The sacrifice of God is a troubled spirit: a broken heart, O God, shalt Thou not despise.

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That Goodness, infinite and ineffable,

Which is above, runs toward love,

As light comes to polished bodies.

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Shosholoza

You are moving fast on these mountains

The train is coming out of South AfricaIMG_2321-edit

Rise up, follow me,

Come away, is the call,

With the love in your heart

As the only song

There is no such beauty

As where you belong

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Alzándosé colorada con la luz del nueva día, Para estar en tu poder, mi amor // Arising, red, with the light of the new day, To be in your possession, my love.

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Didn’t my Lord deliver Daniel, deliver Daniel? Then why not every man?

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Just give me Jesus.

The Wheaton Women’s Chorale, Men’s Glee Club, and Concert Choir all preformed last night in an opening showcase. Besides the fact that I was in awe of the talent of my classmates and friends, the songs reminded me of what it means to truly worship the Lord with beauty. I had forgotten the lesson the Lord taught me awhile back about worshipping Him and Spirit and Truth. And, in His beautiful way, He called my wandering heart back to it.

I love worshipping the Lord in Spirit. I know what the presence of the Lord feels like and I could stay there forever. There is nothing that compares to a time of corporate or quiet prayer when you know you are before the Throne of Grace and the Great High Priest is speaking words of love over you. I get excited to hear His voice, to me or on behalf of others. Discerning the movement of the Spirit in people or places is an incredible gift, but it also can lead to discouragement if you (read: I) am not careful.

Because when I go into the prayer chapel at night and don’t “feel” it, it is easy to become frustrated. Sometimes I blame myself. Sometimes I blame God. Often, I just give up and count that time as for naught. I have to remind myself, or rather, the Lord keeps reminding me, that He is not dictated or contingent upon my crazy, new college student emotions. The joy I felt after what my mom calls a “divine encounter” is not lost when my selfish heart settles upon feelings of insecurity and loneliness after watching others. The blessing and the struggle do not cancel each other out – they are both gifts from the Lord. They both lead me to worshipping Him in truth, despite the range of my human emotions.

Wheaton is a hard place. Don’t misread that – it is a good place, the place I know the Lord has called me, a place with incredible professors and nice people. But it is hard. . .parts of it are hard spiritually, like the lack of transparency, brokenness, and presence of the Holy Spirit. Parts of it are hard emotionally, like feeling unknown in an unfamiliar place that cultivates, at least initially, more one-time encounters than life-long friendships. Parts of it are hard physically, like being surrounded by athletes and people who are obsessed with working out, as well as having to choose for myself when and what I am going to eat. Parts of it are hard mentally, like staying out of my head and my overly-analytical, futuristic thoughts.

But I’ve realized my dependance on the Lord is ways I never have before. I am more humbled and in love with Jesus than I ever have been. I’m more aware of the Spirit – and also more aware of my need to worship in truth, when I don’t always “feel” it. Things are crazy, fun, exciting, boring, overwhelming, beautiful, blessed, encouraging, frustrating. . .but they are all good, because He is all good.

I have so much more I could say, but it’s dinner time and the Lord still has things to surprise me with today (remind me to post about the beauty of taking a Sabbath – and taking one that is focused on the Lord). I will leave you with this verse that the Lord brought to my attention during our quiet time earlier this week:

“You are my servant, I have chosen you and not rejected you. Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday – enjoy the sunshine for me, since it’s a cloudy day here in Wheaton! Soli Deo Gloria.