Promise and Hope

The clarity of grace can be tainted
The ringing echo of redemption can be muffled
The promise of life everlasting can be marginalized
The reality of His love can be obscured
By the unavoidable ebb and flow of pain and hope
Our peace resides in the fact that death, and everything less terrifying, has already been beaten
And the tumltuous currents of this life will be silenced in favor of His river of Peace

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

“Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” 1 Corinthians 13:12

It Is Well With My Soul

I was vaguely familiar with this hymn when I was younger. The weight of it hit me full force, however, when, as a 30 year old prodigal, I finally found peace with Jesus through discovery of His grace. The version of the song that woke me up was from the Jars of Clay album “Redemption Songs.” I’ve heard it done by a few others since then (e.g. Rebecca St. James, Jeremy Camp), but, not done nearly as effectively in my opinion.

To me the significance of this hymn is the realization of the reality of complete forgiveness that is available to us if we simply ask. I now am able recognize the joy that our Abba experiences when we finally return home. While the weather of life on Earth will continue for a time, I can hold fast for the time when, “The trump shall resound and the Lord shall descend.”

It is well with my soul.

It is Well With My Soul

(1) 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.

CHORUS: It is well with my soul,it is well, it is well with my soul.

(2) My sin- O the joy 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!

(3) 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.

The Importance of Being Properly Hydrated

Just the other day I experienced another gratifyingly crystal-clear moment of grace. It was a gloomy, overcast morning. It was one of those days that I had grown to expect, after 31 years of living, not to be remembered as a great day. Sunshine does so much to brighten my soul and when it is not their, its sometimes easy to forget that it ever was. I was driving home from the coffee shop when my predictable expectations for cloudy days were beginning to come to fruition.

At some point during my drive (it may have been the lyrics to a song I was listining to while driving – though, I can’t recall the lyrics or the song now), I remembered that growth comes from rain. Rain is a critical component of the rebirth of nature each spring. As I’ve found out in concrete terms through the experience of trying to keep a plant in my classroom alive, when a plant is not watered, it ceases to be a living organism.

It was only after I parked the car in the driveway, pulled my keys out of the ignition, opened the door, and stepped out, that I heard Him. Stepping from the stale air inside my car I inhaled the fresh air outside and immediately felt, smelt, and tasted the positively distinct character of spring and rebirth. I remember it all coming together in my head and in my heart during the few seconds that expired as I walked from the driveway to the front door of my house. An involuntary plea from my soul lead to acknowledgement from God, a smile on my face, and a thank you from my lips. A couple thousand years past Christ’s resurrection and a few days past our celebration of Easter Sunday, Jesus is still resurrecting love, peace, and hope, through grace, making all things new.