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It Is Well With My Soul: A Child’s Providential History Lesson

It Is Well With My Soul: A Child’s Providential History Lesson

Grown-ups worry about lost jobs, bad doctor reports and politics. But kids worry too.  The things kids are concerned about might seem smaller, like making friends, remembering spelling words, or wondering WHEN you’ll ever grow taller!  But, in God’s eyes, kid worries are important. And the answer to everyone’s worries is exactly the same.  We all need to learn that God is in control.  No matter what happens, He is in charge of everything and His plans never fail!

That’s why studying Providential History is exciting! It’s more than just a history lesson; it builds our faith! As we learn about God’s incredible hand in events of the past, we realize that He is the same God who is just as active in our lives today, working everything together for His glory and our good! This helps with our worries, no matter how old we are.

As we trace God’s hand though, there are a few things we need to remember.

First, the Bible tells us that God’s ways will seem foolish to us, but in reality, His ways are much wiser than ours. This means that we might not always approve of God’s ways and we might think that He should be doing things differently. But, we need to remember that God is in charge – His ways and thoughts are higher than ours – and all that He does is wise.

Second, though God is always at work, we might not understand what He is doing for a long time. Amy Carmichael prayed for blue eyes for many years.  God didn’t give her what she wanted.  Many years later, when she was a missionary to India, she realized that God had given her brown eyes because the children she worked with would have been frightened by blue eyes, which they had never seen before. But, it took many years before she understood God’s providence in this.

Finally, we need to know that sometimes we will NEVER totally understand what God is doing in our life. That is when He wants us to have faith that He is in charge and trust Him, even though we cannot see.

Have you ever heard the hymn, “It Is Well With My Soul?” The man who wrote this hymn learned how to trust God and glorify Him during the worst of times, even when he couldn’t understand what God was doing.

His name was Horatio Spafford.  He was a wealthy lawyer in Chicago, with a happy family and a successful business. But then he lost his only son through an illness. After losing his son, he lost most of his money when his real estate investments were destroyed in the Great Chicago Fire.

About two years later, Horatio decided to take his family on a vacation, leaving behind their sadness for awhile. However, before he could leave, business matters came up, so he sent his wife and four daughters ahead of him, thinking that he would join them shortly.  This was not to be.

Tragically, their ship sank. Out of his whole family, only his wife, Anna, survived, saved by a plank that floated by, propping up her unconscious body.  His four daughters were among the 226 that died that day. Horatio received a telegram from his wife that said, “Saved Alone, what shall I do?”

Spafford was deeply grieved and didn’t understand why all these bad things had happened to him. But still, he remembered that God still loved him and was totally in charge, so he wrote the song, “It Is Well With My Soul.”

Some of the lyrics say,

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.

Horatio Spafford had great faith in God. Even though he lost his business, his money, his belongings, his only son, and even all four of his daughters, he is never known to have ever lost his faith in God and to have turned away from Him. In the hardest time of his life, he praised the Lord. He shows us that it can be well with our souls even when it is not well with our circumstances, and even when we don’t understand what God is doing.

When you are struggling to be content with your circumstances, you too can trust His sovereign hand.  Even when you don’t agree with His plan – even when you don’t understand His plan yet – and even if you NEVER understand His plan, He is working everything together for His glory and your good. So, whether you are a grown up or a child, you can take all your worries to God, knowing that He is in control. He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow and His plans for this world and for your soul will never fail.