It Is Well


Ah, many a church committee meeting have probably been held about styles of worship.

This doesn’t make any church bad, but anytime there is change in tradition, someone is bound to get upset. Just like the story I told when we, as girls and women, were finally allowed to wear pants to church on Sunday night. I might have been 10 or 11-years-old?

It was a great day. 👖

Why didn’t they ever consider pants cover way more than dresses and skirts? I know, I know… women wearing men’s clothing and vice versa. Keep it in context. #laterpost


I woke up this morning with the intent of recounting the story of Horatio Spafford after looking at my dad’s birthday present.

While I was researching the most accurate version of that family on the Library of Congress website, I was reminded of how many hymns I know, and how we always sang the first, second and fourth line of every song.

Why was this? Those poor third verses. I may have missed out on a lot of good lyrics.

Before I get lost on why that might have been (skipping the third verses), my thoughts then went to how David danced as they played music when the ark was brought back to Jerusalem. Part of that verse did say he was wearing a linen ephod (see 2 Samuel 6 for the whole story.)

I spent way too much time looking up concordances on this garment, but just know it was part of the priestly garment, worn as one of the layers under his royal robes. He wasn’t indecent.

Well, Michal, his wife, and daughter of Saul, looked out the window (verse 16) and:

“Saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord; and she despised him in her heart.”

Hmmm, he’s dancing without his royal robes, and I bet she was going to make him sleep on the couch. Never mind that the most holy possession Israel had, the Ark of the Covenant, had finally reached Jerusalem, after so much time, turmoil and even death had passed.

See, while previously trying to move the ark, David disobeyed how the Lord required for it be carried (on the shoulders of the Levite priests), and he put it on a cart instead, pulled by oxen. When the cart began to topple at one point, a man reached up to steady it, and immediately was struck down dead. This may sound harsh, as it always did to me, but the ark was holy and could not be touched.

God’s plan to carry it was the only way – the safest way.

David was angry at the Lord for allowing Uzzah to die, but if he had DONE WHAT THE LORD SAID THE FIRST TIME, then it wouldn’t have happened.

Who am I to “all caps” David? How many times have I gone with my own plan…and it even resulted in a heartbreaking situation that felt like death?

We should all remember this when making decisions or forging ahead with an idea, and we fail to ask, or listen to the Lord. It impacts not just our lives, but those around us.

After this happened, David became afraid and left the ark where it was for a while. My Bible commentary says this wasn’t a fear of honor and respect, but fear based on his on anxiety and guilt.

So, when the day came that the ark was finally moved to Jerusalem, it was a celebration! What a relief it must have been to David’s heart, after all he had been through, from the time he was a simple shepherd boy, anointed as Israel’s King, and to now see the ark returned to the holy city.

This was a hundred times better than everyone passing around that dirty super bowl trophy. I’m thinking God didn’t want them kissing that either. ☺️

Celebration. What happened later between David and Michal? I just need you to read that as it is written…

David’s expression of worship and what he wore (and he was covered) displeased Michal. Perhaps, she should have been less proud and more focused on rejoicing that a great victory had been achieved for all of Israel.

And this brings me back around to styles of worship, and this particular hymn.

Like David, who lost many men like Uzzah in trying to rescue and move the ark, my side of the family lost someone one year ago this month. My younger brother, Jeremy, who was 39.

David still worshipped despite the hardships he had faced.

We still worship.

Horatio Spafford still trusted God when he wrote, It Is Well With My Soul.


In 1871, Horatio Spafford, a prosperous lawyer and devout Presbyterian church elder and his wife, Anna, were living comfortably with their four young daughters in Chicago. In that year the great fire broke out and devastated the entire city. Two years later the family decided to vacation with friends in Europe. At the last moment Horatio was detained by business, and Anna and the girls went on ahead, sailing on the ocean liner S.S. Ville de Havre. On November 21, 1873, the liner was rammed amid ship by a British vessel and sank within minutes. Anna was picked up unconscious on a floating spar, but the four children had drowned.

Anna was picked up unconscious by the crew of the Lochearn, which itself was in danger of sinking. Fortunately, the Trimountain, a cargo sailing vessel, arrived to save the survivors. Nine days after the shipwreck Anna landed in Cardiff, Wales, and cabled Horatio, “Saved alone. What shall I do…”

After receiving Anna’s telegram, Horatio immediately left Chicago to bring his wife home. On the Atlantic crossing, the captain of his ship called Horatio to his cabin to tell him that they were passing over the spot where his four daughters had perished. He wrote to Rachel, his wife’s half-sister, “On Thursday last we passed over the spot where she went down, in mid-ocean, the waters three miles deep. But I do not think of our dear ones there. They are safe, folded, the dear lambs.”

Horatio wrote this hymn, still sung today, as he passed over their watery grave….

With tears in my eyes, and Horatio Safford’s song framed, leaning against my brother’s desk, my dad sent word through my sister yesterday that the final markers and headstone for Jeremy would be ready next week.

My dad will return to his son’s grave this month. My dad can’t sing anymore. After a series of vocal and throat surgeries, he no longer has that sweet, tenor melody to lead worship, or to sing his favorite song.

But, maybe he can hang up this picture, with the lyrics always displayed, and remember that even in loss, it can always be Well With Our Soul.

He knows. I know he does. I want him to have it anyway.

Copyright © 2018 Keysha Thomaston®. All Rights Reserved.

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