[it is well…]

[it is well…]

The time has come for another glimpse into translated songs. This time around it is one of the hymns that we all know and love: It is well with my soul.

This hymn was writ­ten af­ter two ma­jor trau­mas in Ho­ra­tio G. Spaf­ford’s life, the author of the lyrics. The first was the great Chi­ca­go Fire of Oc­to­ber 1871, which ru­ined him fi­nan­cial­ly (he had been a weal­thy bus­i­ness­man). Short­ly af­ter, while cross­ing the At­lan­tic, all four of Spaf­ford’s daugh­ters died in a col­li­sion with an­o­ther ship. Spaf­ford’s wife Anna sur­vived and sent him the now fa­mous tel­e­gram, “Saved alone.” Sev­er­al weeks lat­er, as Spaf­ford’s own ship passed near the spot where his daugh­ters died, the Ho­ly Spir­it in­spired these words. They speak to the eter­nal hope that all be­liev­ers have, no mat­ter what pain and grief be­fall them on earth.

I decided to cite only a couple of verses (second and the last ones) and the chorus.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

And Lord, haste the day when my 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.

To be completely honest with you, I was a bit disappointed when I learned of the original words to this song. Yes, they convey an important thought as well – that our souls are well even when disasters happen around / to us. However, here’s a Russian translation… (translated back into English)

Ты со мной, да, Господь, (You are with me, yes Lord)
В Твоих я покоюсь руках. (I find shalom in Your arms) – like a baby in Daddy’s arms…

Ни вражьи нападки, ни – тяжесть скорбей (The enemy attacks and the heavy sorrows)
Не склонят меня позабыть, (Will not make me forget)
Что Бог мой меня из пучины страстей (That my God desired to redeem me)
В любви восхотел искупить. (From the bottomless pit of suffering.)

Господь! Твоего я пришествия жду; (Lord! I am waiting for You to come)
Принять мою душу гряди! (Come and accept my soul)
Я знаю, тогда лишь вполне я найду (I know that only then)
Покой у Тебя на груди. (I will find complete peace and shalom in your arms)

Whenever I sing this song along with the other people at my Church, I can close my eyes and almost feel that loving embrace. It is so peaceful when someone strong is holding you, protecting you from the world. Yes, while we will find complete peace only after His coming, God does provide us with brief glimpses of how wonderful it will be to rest in His mighty arms.


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