I, as well as most of you, remember when the pandemic began.
I felt like it arrived overnight and I will admit I was not prepared.
One day everything was fine and the next day, the whole world felt like it was falling apart. Immediately, fear set in. Normalcy was obliterated.
Then, the earthquake hit — I turned into an absolute basket case for a while.
Now, I don’t want to get too religious or spiritual on you, but I might.
I began praying after the pandemic and the earthquake hit, because that is one of the only things I know how to do when I am nervous or stressed out.
I also eat a lot of candy.
One day, I headed to the store to buy my much needed candy.
“Get in, get the candy and get out,” I thought to myself as I stepped out of the car.
I remember when I walked into the store, I was just going to go to the candy aisle and then checkout, but for some reason I found myself looking in the clothing aisle.
I was sifting through the racks of clothes when I saw a shirt, suddenly I stopped.
“Faith over Fear” was written on the shirt.
All of a sudden it hit me.
I bought the candy and the shirt. From there on out, my perspective changed.
All because of that shirt.
You see, in that moment that I saw the shirt, it made me think and ask myself, “Why am I so afraid of everything that is happening when I claim to have such a strong faith?
“Why am I praying constantly and worrying at the same time? Isn’t that like the worst contradiction possible?”
Fear is the opposite of faith, but raw faith brings peace.
The greatest lesson I learned last year was how to rid myself of my all consuming fear and trust that everything would work out in the end, one way or another.
I want to tell you a story.
If you have a religious background you may have heard the hymn, “It Is Well with My Soul.” This song was written by Horatio Spafford in the late 1800’s.
The lyrics say:
“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”
Spafford, a lawyer and a Christian, wrote these beautiful words after some pretty traumatic events occurred in his life.
The first two events included the death of his four-year-old son and the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 that ruined him financially.
After the tragic death and the fire, his business investments were hit further by the economic downturn of 1873. At this time, he decided to travel to England with his family on the SS Ville Du Havre to help with a friend’s evangelical Christian campaigns. At the last moment, in a sudden change of plans, he sent his family ahead, because he was delayed back home with business concerning lingering problems from the Great Chicago Fire.
While crossing the Atlantic Ocean, with his family aboard, the ship collided with another ship and sank. All four of Spafford’s daughters died, because of the collision.
Blessedly, his wife survived and sent him a telegram briefing him of what had occurred. He immediately traveled to meet his wife.
As his ship passed the very place where his daughters had died, he wrote the song, “It is Well with My Soul.”
In the aftermath of some very horrific and sorrowful events that would cause most people to fall into a deep depression, Spafford felt peace and his soul was at rest.
That is some incredible faith and some incredible peace.
I long to have that kind of peace, faith, and rest in my life.
I apologize for being so religious and spiritual, but I wanted to tell you the story of my shirt and the story of Spafford.
I am very thankful that I can rest easy at night knowing that everything is out of my hands.
I can’t control the pandemic.
I can’t control what natural disasters may occur, or what may happen to my family.
But one thing I do know is, whatever happens, I will continue to pray for peace, because peace is one of the most important things we have available to us.
Without peace, there is no hope for the future.