Not Just for Funerals

The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?” Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.

As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. What can stand in the way of my being baptized?” And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing. Acts 8:34-39

One of my favorite songs is It Is Well With My Soul. It is the cry of the redeemed heart amidst the cruelty of the world, affirming that though all else falls away, my soul is safe with my savior. The song has a firm, almost defiant deep thrum to it. A defiance against the powers and principalities we are at war with – the buffets, the fist strikes, of our enemy. Yet God is greater, no one can snatch us from his hand, and in him we are well. No matter what.

The song is rock solid.

That said, consider our Ethiopian Eunuch. He was reading, not by coincidence, about someone who “was led like a sheep to the slaughter”… who “was deprived of justice”… and “who can speak of his descendants?” (I’m sure not having descendants was something the eunuch could relate to.) And God brings Philip. And Philip explains. And the Ethiopian wants in. They stop the chariot and he is baptized by Philip. Then Philip vanishes and our friend “went on his way rejoicing.” Why? Because it is well with his soul.

I need to be reminded that the phrase “it is well with my soul” need not always be a cry from a war torn heart turning its face up from wreckage, dust and ashes. It absolutely can be! And what a great cry from the heart it is, and that by God’s power. But it is also the rejoicing of a redeemed soul. A soul that has come out of darkness into light. Redemption! Adoption! “Aha! It is well with my soul!”

And that is reflected beautifully in the final stanza of the song:

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, o my soul

I feel like this stanza is the other It Is Well With My Soul. The hopping and skipping and praising God part. It’s the song I want to sing more often. Perhaps to another tune one day, and maybe with other words to express it, but until then, I’ll keep singing this one.

Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, o my soul

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