My anxious mind


Horatio Spafford  was a prosperous lawyer and businessman in 19th-century Chicago. Tragedy first struck Spafford when he lost his young son to scarlet fever, followed shortly by the Great Chicago Fire, which devastated his financial standing. In hopes of recuperating from these calamities and the loss of their son, Spafford decided to send his family on a vacation to England. Tragically, the ship carrying his four daughters sank, and they perished, leaving his wife as the sole survivor. She sent a heartbreaking telegram from England with the words, “Saved alone.” In profound grief, Spafford rushed to join his grieving wife, traveling by ship across the same waters where his daughters had died. The ship’s captain, aware of his immense loss, notified him as they passed directly over the spot of the tragic accident. Overwhelmed by a surge of darkness, hopelessness, and anxiety, Spafford composed the hymn “It Is Well with My Soul,” finding a way to articulate his enduring faith during a time of unimaginable loss.

The scripture reading for this Sunday from, 1 Peter 5:7, speaks directly to the devastating impact of anxiety in our lives: “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” Anxiety, like a relentless storm, can erode our peace, leaving us feeling weak and vulnerable. Yet, this verse does not just highlight our struggles; it reveals the boundless love and care of God. He invites us to cast not just some, but all our anxieties onto Him. Imagine that—He is willing to bear the entirety of our burdens, ensuring we no longer need to carry the heavy load alone.

However, identifying what burdens us can often be as challenging as overcoming anxiety itself. The term “anxiety” in the Bible, or merimnaō in Greek, frequently signifies a harmful state of worry. Jesus Himself warned against such worries, instructing His followers not to fret about life’s basic needs, as seen in His sermons in Matthew and Luke. He reprimanded Martha for letting anxiety control her actions and distract her from what truly mattered. These scriptural insights encourage us to confront and name our anxieties, understanding their profound effect on our spiritual and everyday lives.

Peace is the true antithesis of anxiety. It does not imply a denial of our fears or concerns; rather, it represents a profound trust and confidence in God’s perfect sovereignty over our lives. Embracing peace means believing wholeheartedly that God knows and will provide the best solutions to our worries. The Apostle Paul encapsulates this beautifully in Philippians 4:6-7, urging us to replace anxious thoughts with prayers and petitions, accompanied by thanksgiving. As we do so, the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will protect our hearts and minds.

May we find the courage to peer into the depths and darkness of our anxieties, just as Horatio Spafford did when in the midst of his storm, he declared, “It is well, it is well with my soul.” Let his words inspire us to cast our own anxieties onto the Lord, trusting that He will not only carry them but also care for us. By surrendering our fears and worries to Him, we open our hearts to receive His peace. May we, too, be able to say with steadfast faith, even in our darkest hours, “It is well with my soul,” and experience the comfort and assurance of His unending peace. Amen.

  1. When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
    When sorrows like sea billows roll;
    Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
    It is well, it is well with my soul.

    • Refrain:
      It is well with my soul,
      It is well, it is well with my soul.
  2. Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
    Let this blest assurance control,
    That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,
    And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
  3. 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!
  4. 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.
  5. 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!
  6. And Lord, haste the day when the 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.

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