Wooden cross in the Good Shepherd Chapel



It is Well With My Soul

Lent 2018

Psalm 51:1-12

“It is well, it is well with my soul.” The words touched the deep corners of my own soul as I listened and watched our youth choir perform this beautiful song in worship. As I watched our vibrant group of middle school students, I was reminded that life isn’t always well. In fact, often life is hard and we are faced with great challenges: a dear sister is diagnosed with breast cancer, an older member of our congregation suffers with Alzheimer Disease, a close family member is no longer with us, marriages struggle, children rebel, a parent still can’t find a job and finances are running low. You can add your own struggle. We all have them because we live in a sinful world. Paul writes in Romans 3:23, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

The season of Lent is a stark reminder of our sinfulness. As we walk together toward the cross for forty days, we have the opportunity to come before our good and loving God and admit that we are broken people in desperate need of his healing touch. We take the time to remember the pain and suffering that Jesus experienced on the cross. We admit that we need a Savior, that life without Jesus is not well!

I love how David expresses this in Psalm 51:1-12.

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment. Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have broken rejoice. Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.

In Jesus—only in Him—we are truly well. As we surrender and confess our deep need for Jesus, we can once again claim the victory of the cross and the empty grave over sin and death, over our fears and challenges. We can sing with our children, “It is well, it is well with my soul.”

Patra Mueller
Family Life Minister, Hope Lutheran, Seattle, WA
Online adjunct professor for DCE Certification/Master of Theology degree

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