[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.