Is it well with your soul? At the crossroads of one year’s ending and another’s beginning it seems appropriate to ask that question. We mark important moments in life . . . births, deaths, marriages, broken relationships, jobs, graduations and all the other experiences that impact our world, by years. A Year’s ending calls us to reflect, to consider how we have spent the previous year, for good or for ill. What mountains have we had to climb? How have we used the time that God has given us? Are we growing toward God or away from God? Is all well with our soul? Really?
Or is there a nagging emptiness that yearns for something you have not yet defined? God often speaks through a haunting sense of dissonance, of something off, that tells us our souls are unwell. Augustine was to say of God, “Our hearts are restless until they find their rest in Thee.” That restlessness is a divine restlessness which grows out of the distance we have taken ourselves from God, from God’s love and God’s purpose for our lives. Even our busyness cannot still the internal disconnection which creeps up on us in sleepless nights and anxious days.
Francis Thompson alludes to this in his poem, “The Great Hound of Heaven”
“I fled (God) down the night and down the days;
I fled (God), down the arches of the years,
I fled (God), down the labyrinthine ways
Of my own mind; and in the midst of tears . . . I hid.”
Is all well with your soul? Or are you still hiding from the Great Hound of Heaven? You don’t need to any longer. In Jesus, God has come in love, in goodness and in mercy. There are no better hands to hold you than the hands of God. This is the good news of Christmas. Here is the message of salvation which remains after all the Christmas trees come down and decorations are tucked away. God’s gift of love is forever. Jesus Christ has truly come to stay. Rejoice!
Do not remember the former things,
or consider the things of old.
I am about to do a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:18-19