Daniel Edwards is a guy I’d like to meet. I’ve been talking to him for several years via twitter, but we’ve never met face to face. If you aren’t following him on twitter, you really should be. You might even wind up on his Favorite Tweets of -Insert Month Here-! I asked him for a brief bio to share with you and here’s what he came up with:
Daniel Edwards is a husband to beautiful woman named Nicole, father to a cute little girl named Haven, master to a good Jack Russel Terrier Java. Pastor of Faith Church in Chandler, Indiana. Training for the Indy Monumental Marathon which is one week before my 30th birthday.
I had a favorite hymn for many years, one I would request whenever the song leader would take requests. I still remember its page number in the hymnal that I sang out of as a boy. Sadly, in my mind the hymn is associated with an unpleasant memory. In the chorus during a rest at the point when everyone else was silent, a man who attended our church would always shout “Praise God.” Once was neat, after every verse was annoying. After a couple of years, I would hear him yelling his part even on Sundays that he was out of town. My mind associated the song with the man. This association went beyond annoying when the man abandoned his family and stole another man’s wife. When I hear the song now, I think of the pain brought upon a family and their church.
For me, a story associated with a song carries a lot of weight.
I guess that is why my current favorite hymn is “It Is Well.”
The story of Horatio Spafford and this song is very moving.
Spafford wrote the lyrics to this song on a ship as it sailed through the approximate place where months before his 4 daughters had perished in shipwreck. Other details of Spafford’s life include losing his only son at age 4, surviving the great Chicago fire. He was a guy who had his share of difficulties.
Though I have never experienced anything like he did (and I hope I never do), I have experienced difficulty. I have also experienced inexplicable peace directly in the middle of tragedy.
When I hear and/or sing this song, I think of the deep anguish that Spafford experienced and I think of the deep, incredible peace that God provided.
I think of the difficulties I have faced and I think of the deep, incredible peace that God provided.
To me, the best part of the hymn are the lyrics:
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!
Tragedy, death, sickness, and separation are all results of the introduction of sin into the world. There is great comfort in knowing that Christ conquered the cause of horrible circumstances like those that you, I, and Spafford have faced in this life. There is wonderful peace in the thought that my sin, in whole, has been nailed to and destroyed by the cross. It is enough to cause my soul to “praise the Lord, praise the Lord.”
What about you? Do you have another story of God’s peace that I could associate with my favorite hymn?