Thursday, January 31, 2008

It is well with my soul

Last week on the way to Temple to see Bill, Ruth, and Phil, the girls & I had a Christian CD playing. A very familiar hymn started playing in the midst of the more contemporary songs. The song was "It is Well with My Soul," by Horatio Stafford. I'd heard the story before, but just found a version to share with you:

It is Well with My Soul is a very influential hymn penned by hymnist Horatio Spafford and composed by Philip Bliss.

This hymn was writ­ten af­ter several trau­matic events in Spaf­ford’s life. The first was the death of his only son in 1871, shortly followed by the great Chi­ca­go Fire which ru­ined him fi­nan­cial­ly (he had been a successful lawyer). Then in 1873, he had planned to travel to Europe with his family on the S.S. Ville Du Havre, but sent the family ahead while he was delayed on business. While cross­ing the At­lan­tic, the ship sank rapidly after a collision with an­o­ther ship, 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.

The Spaffords later had three more children, one of whom (a son) died in infancy. In 1881 the Spaffords, including baby Bertha and newborn Grace, set sail for Palestine.

This comes from This Source.

The words to the song:

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, 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!

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,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

Today Phil talked to the doctor so he could find out more details about what is happening. Bill is, for the most part "stable" as far as his vital signs and organs go. However, he has not been alert or responsive for over a week, and he has not been on any sedative medicines for a week. The doctor, as Phil told Ruth last night, cannot give a definite answer to Bill's destiny. However, she said likely he will decline. They have been giving him nourishment yet he does not gain any weight. The doctor's opinion is that the cancer seems to be much worse than was originally known, and is likely what is causing his body to not respond to the nourishment. They are still wanting to get him into the continuing care hospital as soon as a room is ready.

The doctor has not said that Bill will not recover. The doctors at Scott & White do not try to candy coat anything. At the very first appointment we had with Dr. Coffield, the surgeon, he told us that recovering from stage 4 cancer is nearly unheard of. He never gave false hope. He said we could try chemo and we could try surgery, but these were not promises of anything. They have told us that it does look like likely Bill's body will decline and will do so rapidly. Yet, they cannot say that definitively. Bethany said tonight, "But God can do miracles." We told her she is right, He can, if that is His will. But we have also been very honest with them so they know that this might be the time for God to call Pop Bill home to heaven. From the time we knew Bill had cancer, we have shared with them what this means. They spent the week after Christmas with Bill & Ruth and we told them then that we didn't know how much longer Pop Bill would be here. Last week Natalie said, "If Pop Bill dies, we know he'll go to Heaven because he's a Christian." Amazing that these little girls have such understanding of things as we sit and question it all!

If God chooses to work miraculously and heal Bill's body here on earth, that will be wonderful. But, if He chooses to heal him with His ultimate healing, where Bill can never be in pain or have any sorrow, then we must still say, "It is well with my soul."

We are hoping for the best, but expecting the worst. Though, the worst would only be for us missing Bill. For him, it would be an end to the pain he's been in for nearly a year now.

Enough for now. Please keep praying!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Lori - That hymn is my all time favorite - I cannot hear it with out it bringing tears to my eyes simply because of the story behind it!!!

Praying for all of you!

- April C