Peace at last - Hope 103.2

Peace at last

Morning Devotions is for those curious about the Christian faith and who want to explore Christian issues that relate to their daily life.

By Chris WittsMonday 19 Aug 2013Morning Devotions with Chris WittsLifeReading Time: 0 minutes


Imagine,for a moment,two young parents. Their older child,a toddler now into the “terrible two’s” has finally drifted off back to sleep. Their younger child – only ten months,is having  a hard time with teeth coming through. The day time isn’t so bad,but it seems that teeth are determined to have a growth spurt at about 12:30 at night lasting for about 4 hours. After applying soothing gel to the inflamed gums of the baby,the parents take turns,an hour about,walking the floor in a zombie like state,patting,cuddling,trying to calm the crying baby. Eventually,early into the morning,baby finally drops off back to sleep. He is gently laid back in his cot,and with a reassuring stroke,mum and Dad step back,and with a weary sight,utter the word – “Peace!”

Perhaps that scenario was too far back for you to remember,.. maybe the next one is a little more familiar. All the family,now grown up with children of their own,come around for Christmas Day,which is an exciting time,isn’t it! You just love watching their delight as they rip apart the wrapping and stare wide-eyed at their latest presents. Then there is lunch time,with the attendant noise and commotion,and then while the parents recover,the children chase each other around the house and the property,having the occasional collision and inevitably crying match. Slowly the afternoon passes,and then with a gathering up of bags and high chairs,and of course  leaving the dirty disposable nappies behind,Mum and Dad wave them all good bye. The cars disappear down the road,and mum and dad turn to each other,and together in unison say one word. ( what is it? ) – Peace!”

Or perhaps you are more familiar with another scenario. Life has been really hectic,and at long last you get away for your long awaited holiday. You arrive at your holiday destination,  – exhausted from the last minute tidy up at the office,and the clearing away of jobs at home,you flop down  in a comfortable chair overlooking the still waters of the lake,and with an expiring breath you say to the world – “Peace!” But is Peace just an absence of noise,stress,anxiety,worry,fear or conflict? Or is Peace something more?

Horatio Spafford was an attorney who lived in Chicago in the mid-late 19th century. He was the father of four daughters and a loyal friend and supporter of the evangelist D.L. Moody. Then a series of calamities began,starting with the great Chicago fire of 1871 which wiped out the family’s extensive real estate investments. When Moody and his music associate Ira Sankey left for Great Britain for an evangelistic campaign,Spafford decided to assist Moody and Sankey in the meetings and as a treat for the family,take them along also.

However in November 1873,just before leaving,Spafford was detained by urgent business,but he sent his wife and four daughters on ahead,as scheduled,planning to join then shortly after.  Halfway across the Atlantic,the ship was in a collision with an English vessel and sank within 12 minutes. All four of Spafford’s daughters were among the 226 who drowned. Spafford’s wife,Anna,was among the few who were miraculously saved. Some time shortly after,as Horatio Spafford was on his way to rejoin his wife,and his ship passed the place where the collision had occurred,despite intense sorrowing for his daughters,Spafford,a man of deep faith,  became inspired to write the words of the hymn  “It is well with my soul.”

“When peace,like a river,attendeth my way,when sorrows like sea billows roll -whatever my lot,Thou has taught me to say,It is well,it is well with my soul. Tho’ Satan should buffet,tho’ trials should come,let this blest assurance control; That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate and shed His own blood for 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.”

Here was a man who,in the midst of tragedy and intense grief,could look out on life,and look in on his own soul and say that regardless of whatever life brings  –  either ” peace,like a river”  or  “sorrows like sea billows roll”  – whatever came his way,

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