Have you ever sang the song “It Is Well With My Soul” when your soul did not feel well?
On the days that that phrase rings true, we can say it as a declaration with peaceful truth and confidence– Yes! Amen! It IS well.
But here’s the thing… most days, inner peace is not something that comes easily for me. In fact, I am currently in the midst of wrestling my good old frenemy Seasonal Depression. Yuck.
There are days when it’s super hard to motivate myself to pick up my Bible because I’d much rather wallow in negativity. When I do NOT want to cook for myself and instead want to eat chips and salsa and chocolate chips for dinner. When I want to isolate and binge-watch Netflix instead of being real with friends about my place of need. This week alone, I have done a little bit of both. I’ve wallowed in darkness/negativity AND made myself read my Bible to seek out light. I’ve indulged in the snack junk food dinner, and also made some intentional, healthy meals. I’ve engaged in the Netflix marathoning, but also reached out to my support system to say “I am hurting.”
As much as SOME of this is in my control, depression is a real thing. And I know that I cannot fight it without the Lord. In this season, I am learning to look at this prayer/proclamation differently.
When I sit in unrest, when my heart is heavy, when I cannot move because my body is sad, “It Is Well” becomes a pleading prayer. God, please MAKE it well with my soul.
The history of this song is pretty remarkable. A man who experienced deep, tragic loss, proclaimed that in the Lord, his soul was alright. I’d venture to say, it was more than alright. He found rest and hope in Jesus, and was even praising Him in the midst of darkness.
Sometimes its too hard to sing or say “It Is Well” because we do not FEEL well. But if we fold our arms or refuse to sing it because it’s not true at that time, we are missing out on peace that can come JUST from praying it in genuine need. When we whisper in desperation that it WILL be well with our souls, He starts to bring a different kind of freedom from our trials. He may not remove the painful circumstances, but saying those words and clinging to Jesus opens us up to rest. To His peace. To HOPE. And I need hope right now, so I’m choosing to sing/pray my way through the darkness.
So, if life is straight up hard for you right now, can we pray this prayer together?
Lord, let me declare that it is well with my soul, and trust that You will make it so.
In my desperation, still my heart. When my wounds are loud, bring Your healing balm. When my world feels like it’s caving in, help me dwell on the Truth about who You are. I praise You, because You are faithful, You are Redeemer, You are steadfast.
Thank You Lord. You know suffering well- You’ve watched us betray You for thousands of years, choose sin instead of light, reject You when You offer life. Your only Son endured suffering to death on our behalf, and You absorbed the full weight of our suffering already.
Help me remember the suffering of others, and to pour out Your love to them (I am not the only one hurting!).
Help open my heart to receiving love from the people You’ve placed in my life (it’s okay to grieve, to ask for help).
Help me to rejoice in the GOOD that I do see–and if I can’t see anything good right now? Help me to seek it out and start to see it with new eyes.