Everybody has a trial, a loss, a burden, a mountain or a valley they have either walked through or are walking through. We may never know the kinds of things our neighbor is facing. We can assume our mountains are bigger, uglier, more impossible than anyone else’s. We can idolize our trials, protect them and make them a part of our identities. I know this, because this is something I have done. I have placed my tragedies at the forefront of my life. I ensure my trials are all anybody can see when they look at me; or all I see when I look at myself. Sitting here today, however, listening to my husband sing Bethel’s “it is well”, acutely aware of the current trials being faced by those around me, I am challenged by the reality that life is not fair, not easy and not perfect for anyone. I can either stay stuck in my ‘woe is me’, and make sure everyone agrees with me, or I can sing out of the deepest places in my heart that “it is well with my soul”. Those are strong words. To sing ‘it is well’ is to acknowledge that even when life is hard, even when tragedy comes, or unrelenting heartbreak, it is to proclaim to God that “Your will be done, not mine”. When it is well with our souls, it does not imply that all is well, but that God can have His way. It is to believe in the purposes of an unseen God in situations that might make no sense.
And so, we are faced with a choice. We can stare at our mountains, our circumstances, our heartbreaks, our losses, and talk about how great they are; or we can give them to God, and talk about how great He is in their midst. We can acknowledge the One who is the how and the why of ‘it is well’. – Melissa St. Louis.