It is well


“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”

Horatio Stafford penned that in the 1880s.  It popped into my mind today, as it does with some regularity.  Today, I am struck by the duality of the lyrics.  In two lines, we have “peace like a river” and “sorrows like sea billows” rolling.  Perhaps that is why this song has hung on for so many years – because that is the roller coaster we call life. That sentiment was expressed nearly a hundred years later by John Prine:

“That’s the way that the world goes round

You’re up one day, the next you’re down

It’s a half an inch of water, and you think you’re gonna drown

That’s the way that the world goes round.”

The hard part, of course, it to remember, to see (or see to it) in the midst of those days of ups and downs, while standing in that “half an inch of water,” that “it is well with my soul.”  Today, it seems so.  I’ll take that.

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