As I sat in church this past Sunday, and sang the hymn, It Is Well With My Soul, I couldn’t help but feel the contrary. My family and I are facing some very difficult decisions in the coming weeks and I was definitely not feeling like all was well with my soul. I want to be angry. I want to blame somebody else. I want these problems to go away. They will in time, but everything seems really magnified because the lens I’m looking through is quite small.
I have to step back and look at the bigger picture. Our situation will improve in time and there are some tough lessons to learn. Our world won’t end, but the window through which we look may be a bit different. In time, it may even be a bit brighter. But I still wish the problem would go away. I wish the problem had never occurred. I wish I hadn’t acted upon some really bad financial advice from my accountant, or it wouldn’t have. I am resentful, angry, and I don’t like feeling that way.
Facing a time of unemployment or indecision in your career brings the exact same feelings and emotions. Maybe you are resentful. Maybe you’re angry. Maybe you wish the problem would go away. You want/need something fixed, but there is no easy answer. Perhaps you feel lost, stuck, are out of options, and are just plain worn out. Unfortunately the Deus ex Machina sometimes used in Greek dramas does not exist.
So, what to do? What do you do when the decisions you need to make regarding your career, finances, or seamlessly unending period of unemployment and job search begin to overwhelm you? Well, singing It is Well With My Soul doesn’t help; I’ll say that for sure!
The ironic thing is that all the angst we feel is related to our own individual plans and desires. Our lens is quite small, finite if you will. We need to remember that God’s lens is much bigger. His lens is infinite. Proverbs 16:3 says, “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” The King James Version states it a little differently, “Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts will be established.”
The common language between the two is “Commit to the Lord.” How committed are you to serving the Lord in all that you do? How committed are you to turning over your career to Him? Personally speaking, how committed am I? Commitment to God requires total abandonment of our own personal will. The Hebrew word in the passage is “Gal” which comes from the Hebrew root “Galal”. The meaning in this case is to “roll away” or “heap.” (Translation according to Beth, heap your cares/concerns/problems onto the Lord, and then He will show you what to do next.)
Psalm 55:22 comes to mind, “Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall.”
The scriptures consistently reiterate God’s faithfulness, love, mercy, and provision. God’s word consistently tells us “cast your cares upon the Lord,” “commit to the Lord,” “trust in the Lord.” Why is it so hard? Why can’t we, as the Nike add says, “Just do it?”
My friend sang a song by Casting Crowns entitled Caught in the Middle shortly after we sang It is Well With My Soul. Caught in the Middle is the song that really described how I felt. Parts of the chorus rang true: “Deep water faith in the shallow end…with eyes wide open to the differences, the God we want and the God who is, But will we trade our dreams for His? Or are we caught in the middle?”
In some ways I really wish there was an easy answer, but the only thing we truly can do is pray for wisdom, commit ourselves to serving the Lord, and wait upon Him. In the mean time, try to recognize His blessings in disguise, and I’ll do the same. You’re not alone. It’s ok if you feel like it is Not well with your soul, and most importantly; God truly is in control and will make us stronger.