“I am the man who has seen affliction Because of the rod of His wrath.  He has driven me and made me walk In darkness and not in light. Surely against me He has turned His hand Repeatedly all the day.…” Lamentations 3:1-3

A fire destroyed his financial investments. An economic downturn devastated prospects for future growth. And then his four daughters drowned at sea. One man, Horatio Spafford, endured all these losses in a brief stint of time. With pen in hand he composed the song “It Is Well with My Soul.” His faith and trust in the moment causes me to question the limits of my faith. To be honest, I doubt I could embrace such loss so quickly. My pattern seems to be a bit more dramatic like the prophet Jeremiah.

This man of God proclaimed God’s message to a rebellious people. They refused to listen and rejected the messenger. Jeremiah committed to obey and speak God’s word while being tormented by those he loved – until the day of his collapse. All was not well with his soul. Unlike Mr. Spafford, his lyrics and score played a dark tune for the first half of Lamentations 3. Truly he was lamenting. Not only can I relate to the remorse, I’ve uttered similar words (just not in King James vocabulary). I’ve pouted and ranted for days on end. Friends ducked into bathrooms as I approached them in the church hallways, avoiding Dawn the Downer.

Yet midway through Jeremiah’s lament he remembers the key to living well when all is not well.

  • Consider God Verse 24
  • Consistently hope and wait quietly V.26
  • Carry the burden you’ve been given but be yoked to God (Lighten the load.) V.27
  • Constrain the complaints (Friends grow weary of consistent grumbling.) Vs. 28-29
  • Cheek exposure (Don’t fight evil with evil. There are times we take the blows in silence. Jesus modeled this.) V.30
  • Compassion is coming (God will avenge in due time.) V.32
  • Calamity and prosperity come and go (They balance us out.) Vs. 37-39
  • Connect the dots (Recall how we’ve gotten from there to here and how to head in the right direction.) V. 40
  • Cheerful attitude toward God (Remember He’s got this and He’s holding onto us.) V.41
  • Call on the name of God (Scream it out in turmoil and whisper it your stillness.) Vs. 52-57

Jeremiah turned the corner and started afresh. Let’s do the same. I wish you well.

When All is Not Well
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