• Marnie Hammar

When He Says, "All Is Well"

By Judy Gordon Morrow


Hear Him Louder Essay Series: Judy's Story


“All is well.” Three simple words, but they have changed my life.


My journey with those words began when I felt like my life was ending: my longtime marriage fell apart, my three young adult sons strayed from their faith, and I moved out of state—away from everything familiar—to begin a new and intimidating job. Did all feel “well and good” in my life? Not even close. I imagine you’ve known a season like that in your own life. You may be there now.


Desperation drove me daily to my knees amid those dark and desolate days, and while facedown on the carpet beside my bed, God met me there. I poured out the sorrow of my heart, and He poured in His words of comfort and hope. So much so, that I placed a spiral notebook in front of me so I wouldn’t need to scamper for a scrap of paper to write what I heard. With amazement and gratitude, I recorded His welcome words of reassurance so I could remember and cling to those buoys of hope.


In the pages of paragraphs God has lovingly spoken to me over the years, that trio of words has showed up again and again: All is well. Many times I’d shake my head in disbelief, since my circumstances didn’t match the calm of His tender words to me.


The other most repeated words from my Lord in my pen-scrawled notebooks? “I love you.” Ah…that perfect pairing is the key. “I love you, Child,” and thus, “All is well.”


Because I know God loves me, I can also know that ultimately all is well. That “all” dovetails beautifully with the “all” in one of the Bible’s most beloved verses: "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose," (Romans 8:28, NIV).


Years ago my middle son and his expectant wife were involved in a traffic accident on the opposite coast, but I learned no details for hours. Panic pressed in, but then I heard “All is well,” and God cloaked me in His peace, enabling me to focus on an intensive work project with a pressing deadline. Hours later my son confirmed what God had spoken.

Countless times over the years I’ve awakened in the deep of night with troubling body pains, enlarged by my aloneness. Fear squeezes my heart with suggestions of every possible negative outcome, and then I hear the healing truth from my Father, “All is well,” and sleep returns.


One summer night my phone jarred me awake at 3 a.m. with a voluntary evacuation notice. A wildfire blazed behind the mountain ridge just above my home, and frantic thoughts blazed through my mind as well. Should I leave? Where would I go? What irreplaceable things should I take? I paced the length of my home, wondering what to do, wishing I had someone there with wisdom to ask. My futile pacing halted with the obvious solution: “Lord, what should I do?” His answer was swift and clear. “Go back to bed. All is well.” In that instant I relaxed and embraced the peace that permeated His words. I crawled back into bed and fell into an immediate and restful sleep.


Recently during prayer, my mind ricocheted with every concern in my life. I needed my teeming thoughts to calm down. That’s when I “saw” Jesus coming up behind me and placing His hand on my head, speaking my name in His kind and loving voice.


I responded with, Yes, my Lord. What is it You would like to say to me?


I poised my pen to write His prompt answer:


All is well. In the deepest chambers of your heart, you know My oft-spoken words to you are true: All is well.


All is well because you know Me and My changeless love for you.

All is well because you have seen My workings countless times, and you trust Me.

All is well because even though you are still waiting for your faith to be made sight, you know I do not lie.


My “all is well” is always fraught with depth and layers of meaning. When you explore and study My Word, you see who I am—My constancy and character—and you know all is well. When you see the tumult and turmoil in the world around you, you hear My steadying “All is well.” When your heart aches in the sorrow and sadness you and others experience, you sense My comfort as I remind you, “All is well.”


My “all is well” to you is not a platitude to be slapped on a wound like a band-aid, but it is truth. My “all is well” calls you out of your troubles and trials to consider anew My care that never wavers for you. My “all is well” sounds the eternal gong of My sovereignty so that its every peal of hope will bring you peace of heart.


Some may dismiss and even mock the three simple words of “All is well.” But you, My child, have experienced their power as they calm a concern and settle your soul.

You’ve felt worry dissipate and peace restored at the whisper of those words to you from My heart of love. Even today as you continue to walk with Me, wait on Me, and wonder about My outcomes, I speak peace to you again: All is well.


I love you. Always. Always, My child.


God’s words to me that day further solidified the trio of truth: All is well. Am I totally free from worry? I wish! But I am learning that all the worry in the world will add nothing worthwhile to our lives.


Listening to my Lord and living under the eternal mantle of His “All is well” is life giving. In this world, we will always be assaulted by reasons to worry, from the mundane to major concerns. Yet, like softly falling snow, God’s gentle words cover us with His quiet reassurance: All is well.


Photo credit: Unsplash, Aliko Sunawang.


 

A Note from Judy:


I can't recall the first time I heard the Christmas song, "All Is Well," but I wondered how I had missed it all these years. When I caught snippets of it on the radio, I thought, "Wait, what? Who is singing, "All is well," the very words God tells me so often?" My research revealed the creator as wonderful songwriter and musician Michael W. Smith, who wrote it with Wayne Kirkpatrick and recorded it on his first Christmas album in 1989. A more recent Christmas album, "The Spirit of Christmas," offers it as a duet with Carrie Underwood as seen in this video:


Carrie Underwood & Michael W. Smith - All Is Well (CMA Country Christmas 2014)


I'm not sure how I missed this amazing song for so long, but I'm grateful for how it enriched my Advent season of 2021. For me, it's not meant just for Christmas but is a melody that accompanies God's whispers of "All is well" all year long. I hope and pray you'll also enjoy it.

 

The Hear Him Louder Essay Series is a guest writer series where God's daughters share their stories of hearing God’s whispers in their every day. It’s meant to serve as an encouragement for the times when God feels far and seems quiet. When we read each other’s stories of how He meets us, it reminds and reassures us that He is near. May this series be an invitation for us to listen for His voice together.


Don't miss any posts in this series! Subscribe to receive notifications for each new essay, posted every other Thursday. When you subscribe, you'll receive a link to a FREE five-day devotional (45 beautiful pages!) called, “Closer: Five Days to Hearing God Louder.” Each day features teaching on one posture and a guided journaling section to help us practice taking steps toward hearing God louder in our every day.


Learn more about each of these five postures:


1 | Seek: If I Seek God, Will I Really Find Him?

2 | Know: Will God Speak, Even to Me?

3 | Expect: Can I Expect to Hear God?

4 | Listen: How Do I Listen for God?

5 | Connect: Is God Really Right Here?


New to this series? Check out the rest of the series!


Interested in contributing to the Hear Him Louder Essay Series? The call for submissions opens twice a year. To submit an essay outside of those windows, contact me.


 

About Judy


Judy Gordon Morrow is a lifelong lover of words and has published poetry, articles, and a variety of books. Her first book dealt with pregnancy loss, followed by nine gift books and three devotionals, including The Listening Heart.

In her prior “word-lover jobs,” Judy served as a school librarian, newspaper copyeditor, and nonfiction editor at Multnomah Publishers. She speaks at events for women and writers, sharing her passion for the Word and words.

Judy lives in a charming mountain community in northern California and savors small-town living. A lover of people of all ages, Judy relishes time spent with friends and family. She adores her three sons, daughters-in-love, and six grand-gems, ages 3-11. She enjoys compelling stories told in books, movies, and conversations, going on walks, cozying up her home with vintage treasures, and singing. Yummy fresh fruit and creamy dark chocolate add bliss to her days.


You can find Judy on Facebook or at her website, and you can order her book, The Listening Heart, at Amazon.



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