It Is Well

Music is a powerful aspect of my faith-walk, so once a week, I plan to post a hymn or chorus with a few reflections.  Hopefully these words and tunes will minister to your heart

Wanting to play piano in accompaniment to prayer, I was drawn to a tattered and taped book. It had been out for the Christmas season, but included many other well-loved hymns.

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One of my favorite arrangements by Mark Hayes is “It Is Well With My Soul.”  Just challenging enough to require the discipline of practice; beautiful and expressive enough to allow the soul to breathe.

As I played, the words of this hymn, a sacrifice of praise written by Phillip P. Bliss after losing most of his investments in the Chicago fire and the death of his four daughters at sea washed over my soul.  He was in a place much like Job, Old Testament patriarch. Prayers for those in thorny places of life poured out with the music.

But thankfully, in the midst of the storm, we know like Job and Phillip Bliss, “I know that my Redeemer liveth.” Job 19:25

Some of the words we are familiar with are slightly changed from the original text which I have included here.

May it be well with your soul, no matter what circumstances you are in today.

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It Is Well With My Soul
(Original lyrics)[1]

When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to know,a
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Refrain:
It is well, (it is well),
With my soul, (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,
A song in the night, oh my soul! b

a “know” (at the end of the third line) was changed to “say”.
b “A song in the night, oh my soul” (last line)
was changed to “Even so, it is well with my soul”.

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