It’s been a hard season in our neck of the proverbial woods. There have been so many heartaches and headaches and crises galore… and layoffs…collapses…and lives coming to an unexpected end.
And in the midst of the struggles I find myself reflecting on the perpetual question in hard times…”why?”
And as soon as I ask it the answer comes pounding through my mind. The world is a broken place because of the innate self-fixation that is a part of us all. And that makes me think about my own failures. My sin.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that every bad thing that happens is the direct result of some poor decision or sinful choice or thought on my part. I am saying that the hard or bad things in this life make me very conscious of my sin.
But I’ve been exploring the passion week of Jesus over these last few weeks. That exploration coupled with this greater consciousness of sin has combined in another of those “soundtrack moments” that I write about from time to time.
This time the song doesn’t show up on my easter-themed playlist. It’s not even the chorus or hook of a song. It’s the third stanza of a classic hymn:
My sin, oh the bliss of this glorious thought
My sin, not in part, but the whole
Was nailed to the cross and I bear it no more
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!
“It Is Well With My Soul” by Horatio G. Spafford
I can’t get over this lyric and the profound truth it reflects. In the midst of this powerful hymn that resounds, “It is well with my soul,” the author recognizes that, despite the tragic reality of this human existence, it truly can be well with my soul because of what Jesus did for me on the cross.
Pipe dreams, you think?
Horatio Spafford, as he wrote that song, had just crossed the place on the Atlantic Ocean where his wife and daughters had been shipwrecked just a few weeks prior and only his wife survived. He knew the heartache that is a natural part of this life and is the byproduct of this sin-cursed world.
Yet, those words… “Oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!” How he rejoiced to consider it! That thought, “my sin, not in part, but the whole is NAILED TO THE CROSS AND I BEAR IT NO MORE,” stirs the greatest recognition in my soul of a reality so far beyond the confines of this world.
My sin is the reason life is hard. And my sin – the whole lot of it – has been nailed to the cross with Jesus and I no longer bear it.
I look around and see the heartaches around me…and I am conscious of my sin…but then, when I look for it, I always go back to Jesus.
He nailed it. All of it. Every last hideous drop. He nailed it to the cross and I bear it no more.
And, indeed, because of this truth, despite the chaos that seems it would swallow me up sometimes…it is well.