Chatting with friends the other night, I had a new revelation as they were sharing. The husband had being involved in a bike accident and been told he would never walk again. He is now walking. Earlier this year, their 7 year old daughter died quickly and unexpectedly. The other night, this couple could say “It is well with my soul” (See the story to that fabulous hymn penned by Horatio Spafford at the bottom of this page.) As we were chatting and they were sharing that they had wanted to really do grief well and glorify God, I knew that they weren’t in denial. They had handled it well. I had a sudden revelation of my true north.
Our true north is what we default to under pressure. When the car breaks down, when hubby loses his job, when bills come unexpectedly and we don’t have the money to pay them, when our world is rocked, when pressure builds up suddenly and we “lose it”.
In those situations, do we look to our experiential truth or God’s heavenly truth. Do we base our reaction on what we know to be true by our past experiences and what we have incorporated into our life as experiential truth (or perception)? Or do we go “God is good, so what is He saying and wanting to do in all of this?
I firmly believe if we can grasp this concept in our life and help our children grasp this and incorporate it into normal daily living, then we are living more as God intended us to live and bringing Heaven to earth on a daily basis.
An example is that you are driving along in your car, late for an appointment, have a very busy day ahead, and your car breaks down. What is your first reaction? Do you default to your experiential truth, get angry, cry, blast someone in an ungodly manner, and ring the RACV (Automobile 24 hour car line) expressing our impatience over the delay in their being able to come and help fix it? Or is your initial reaction, “God, what do you want to do in this situation? You know my schedule for today? I’m frantic but I am choosing to have your peace. You are a good God, so how are you going to work this out for your good? Please tell me, show me what my role in this is?” And then listen to what God says or shows you.
Those times when we “blow it” and default to our experiential truth, I believe the best way of handling it is to say, “Father God, what lie am I believing right now?” Wait for Him to show or tell you and then confess it to Him and ask for His forgiveness. Follow that up by then asking, “Father God, what truth do you have for me?”
In the outworking of this concept, we need to realise that we are made up of body, soul and spirit. Most times, our soul is in charge of our emotions and thought life. At times, we need to say to our soul, “Soul, I am choosing to live from a Heavenly perspective and my spirit can see things differently from this perspective. Soul, you need to catch up to where my spirit is seeing things from and take on a new perspective.”
I believe we need to feed both our spirit and our soul and help our soul shorten the gap between what it knows and has experienced and believes from that to be the truth, to what God says about us and how we behave and what we believe.
If we can help our children to also understand and implement this way of living, then surely they will have such a huge head start on really grasping the truth and the width and breadth and height of God’s love.
What are your thoughts on this? Feel free to comment.
“It is well with my soul”: The hymn “It is well with my soul” was written after traumatic events in Spafford’s life. The first was the death of their only son from Scarlet Fever in 1870. Second was the 1871 Great Chicago Fire which ruined him financially (he had been a successful lawyer and had invested significantly in property in the area of Chicago which was decimated by the great fire). His business interests were further hit by the economic downturn of 1873 at which time he had planned to travel to Europe with his family on the SS Ville du Havre. In a late change of plan, he sent the family 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 sea vessel, the Loch Earn, 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 these words as his ship passed near where his daughters had died.
“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, it is well with my soul.