A while back, I received many notes and emails from friends and family members wishing to extend me their encouragement and support as I was scheduled to visit my doctor once again for a visit.
Why was I going to the doctor?
Well, I had noticed a nickle-sized lump on my rib cage and became concerned. It was hard and painful to the touch, so I was worried it might be cancerous. Chuck (my husband) was also quite worried and strongly insisted I make an appointment to have it looked at immediately. So, in a few days I was standing in a paper gown ready to be examined by my doctor. The day of reckoning for my lump had come.
Now, before I go any further, let me ease everyone's mind and inform you that upon inspection my doctor was not overly worried about the lump. After careful examination, she concluded that it was non-cancerous and merely a large cyst that existed in a very inconvenient location - thus making it painful. She recommended that we conduct a few other tests and continue to keep an eye on it for a while to see if it grows any bigger. If so, I would likely have it removed. If not, I would continue life as normal - now accompanied by a lump.
Anyway, since discovering my new lump and waiting to see my doctor, you can imagine how many "what if" scenarios ran through my mind concerning my overall mortality. What if this lump is cancerous? What if my health deteriorates? What if I have to endure more pain? What if this is the beginning of the end? What if my time on this planet will soon be over? What if, what if, what if?
It's interesting when you are faced with these types of questions - specifically the "what if's" concerning your own existence. For in every day, most of us think we are soooo important and our issues and lives matter soooo much. But in truth, if I died tomorrow the world would continue turning. Life would go on. Sure, I would be missed for a short while and remembered every now and then by those once close to me. My life would be summed up as either "good" or "foolish" depending on who you spoke to and what you believe. But then what? For those still on earth, that would be that - wouldn't it? My things would be given away. My name would be lost in history. My uniqueness would be a forgotten memory. When you really think about it, we are quite insignificant, aren't we? Yep, even those most famous and renowned in this day become merely an afterthought once all is said and done.
Anyway, out of the many notes of encouragement I had received, one very special email was from my brother, Scott. He mentioned in his email how he was scheduled to sing in Sunday's service at his church. And since this new month marks the anniversary of both my father and grandmother's death, Scott decided that it would be appropriate to sing, "It Is Well With My Soul" and pay tribute to two people who once greatly influenced both our lives. Here is part of what my brother wrote:
"Hey Vic... In church, I was scheduled to sing a solo. Well, considering what week this is, I thought that the only appropriate choice of song should be "It Is Well." Before I started singing, I said a little something about both Grandma and Dad being in Heaven, and about how the Lord had given me peace through these seemingly hard times. There was one point in the last verse of the hymn that I wanted to hit high and loud, but my voice broke with a slight sob when I came across the words, "... and Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight." Of course, I was thinking of Dad gaining new sight upon his entrance into Heaven in addition to the original meaning of the lyric. So much for being all impressive and dramatic." (Note: The "new sight" Scott speaks of is especially significant because my father was quite literally a blind person who had lost the sight of both his eyes when we were much younger.)
Needless to say, Scott's words hit home regarding the "what if's" that I had been thinking over. I could hear the Holy Spirit question me, "What if...? What if what, Victoria? What is most important is that you continue to sing high and loud about MY glory... about Jesus' LIFE!"
What a reminder. For, I am not here to worry about my own petty lumps. I am not to be sidetracked spiritually over physical pains or the discouragement of the unknown. No, I'm here to sing and share the message of the King of kings - no matter what! For only He is unique and alive and memorable - yesterday, today, forever!!!
Thank you, Lord, for this whole experience - this reminder that one day my own faith will also be made sight. My life only matters when it is about YOU! How I long to stand face-to-face before my Maker and hear you joyfully proclaim, "Well done!" Oh, then it will truly be well with my soul, won't it?! Then, every single tear that I've shed, every stress that I've encountered, every sorrow and scar that ever was... each and every unwanted "lump" will be washed away by your cleansing blood til there is only YOU... my precious, glorious Savior... Jesus!!!
Ladies, this life is really worth nothing unless we are focused on showcasing WHO really matters in every single moment and circumstance. Jesus is all that matters. So, if (like me) you find yourself in a pickle and pondering over the "what if's" of your existence... here are the only questions you need be asking yourself, "what if...":
What if you loved the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength?
What if you loved others the same?
What if you trusted the Lord always?
What if you lived holy and pleasing in His sight?
What if you committed your ways to His ways?
What if you lived patiently and waited on Him in all matters?
What if your only focus was God's glory?
What if, no matter what, it is well with your soul?
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.
Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
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!
For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.
But, Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!
Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul!
And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
(Horatio G. Spafford, 1873)
Note: This hymn was written after several traumatic events in Spafford’s life. The first was the death of his only son in 1871 at the age of four, shortly followed by the great Chicago Fire which ruined him financially (he had been a successful lawyer). Then in 1873, he had planned to travel to Europe with his family on the SS Ville du Havre, but sent the family ahead while he was delayed on business concerning zoning problems following the Great Chicago Fire. While crossing the Atlantic, the ship sank rapidly after a collision with a sailing ship, the Loch Earn, and all four of Spafford's daughters died. His wife Anna survived and sent him the now famous telegram, "Saved alone." Shortly afterwards, as Spafford traveled to meet his grieving wife, he was inspired to write these words as his ship passed near where his daughters had died. The Spaffords later had three more children, one of whom (a son) died in infancy. In 1881 the Spaffords, including baby Bertha and newborn Grace, set sail for Israel. The Spaffords moved to Jerusalem and helped found a group called the American Colony; its mission was to serve the poor.What if, ladies?
Blog Posting Written By Victoria Anderson
(Facts about Horatio G. Spafford taken from www.wikipedia.org)