Greetings and salutations. Choice Christian greetings. Have you ever thought about how much time we spend in giving greetings to one another? Have you ever given more in-depth consideration of the words you use in the exchanging of greetings?
I operate in a firm conviction that words are important. For the Christian, words are of the utmost importance. It is worth noting that you should use caution in the words that you routinely choose to listen to for entertainment.
However, you should be even more judicious in the words that you choose to speak. If the words that you routinely speak do not glorify God and edify the hearers (yourself included), then you have a problem.
The heart of that problem is actually a problem with your heart. I know that seems a little tight, but it’s right. It’s also precisely what Jesus teaches. So if it really bothers you, I suggest you read it here and then talk with Him about it.
However, heart issues are not what I want to focus on for the rest of this devotional space. Presuming that your heart is right with God and His Word, I’m curious as to how you respond in those first few moments of conversation.
As seen in Scripture, it’s evident that Christian greetings do have some importance. When asked, “How are you?’ or “How are you doing?” – my response is usually something like this. “I’m well, thanks for asking.” Or I might say, “I’m doing well, thanks.”
Why am I “well” instead of “doing good?” For me, “well” is the best way to describe the state of my soul and life in general. I’m not always doing good, but I am always well because of the One “who does all things well…”
“Well,” in my mind, speaks to the condition of my soul and the status of my relationship with God. It is also indicative of the joy of the Lord (not my happenings or happiness), which is my strength.
Even with the apparent death of her son, the Shunammite woman was able to reply when asked, “it is well” (see 2 Kings 4:18-37). She was asked, “Is it well with your husband? Is it well with the child?” And she answered “it is well” (26).
Perhaps you have heard the old hymn that emphatically states, It Is Well with My Soul. The words of this beauty were written by a man who was no stranger to tragedy, Mr. Horatio Spafford. The lyrics are definitely worthy of your meditation. Once you learn the chain of events that preceded Spafford’s writing of them, you’ll appreciate it even more.
In 1871, his two-year-old son died, and the family experienced the three-day conflagration known as The Great Chicago Fire. Then in 1873, the economy tanked, and his real estate business suffered horribly. In that same year, he had decided to treat his family to a vacation. He stayed behind for business issues and planned to meet them later. His wife and four daughters were on board a large ship that was traveling to Europe. While crossing the Atlantic Ocean, the ship collided with another vessel and suddenly sank. His wife survived, but all four of his daughters died. His wife wired the telegram which began with these infamous words, “Saved alone…” After receiving the news, Horatio traveled to console his wife. While on the ship and crossing the same ocean which had become the grave of his daughters, his pen met paper and this timeless and theologically accurate hymn was born.
When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.
Today, I am happy, and life is going quite well. But tomorrow I might not be happy, and life could be rotten. I could find myself in the face of tragedy. But as long as there is a God in Heaven who walks with me and does all things well, it is well with my soul.
How are you today?