Friday, April 7, 2017

Devotion: After the Storm by Shirley Corder

How Great Thou Art

Right now, in South Africa, there is great political storm boiling. As this post goes live, massive protest marches are taking place and the situation on the streets is extremely volatile.

I know South Africa is not alone. We need peace in our world, but everywhere we see political storms raging.

Yesterday I attended a funeral of a man who died suddenly. In his early fifties, he was struck down by a massive heart attack and died within hours. One of the hymns we sang was "How Great Thou Art". After singing that great and well-known hymn, I nudged my husband. "Don't forget I want that sung at my funeral!" I whispered.

Today's post is going to be different. I urge you to take a few minutes from your busy day and listen to the two songs below.

Mr. Carl Gustaf Boberg (1859-1948) was a Swedish pastor, editor and member of parliament. One day he was out walking when a sudden thunderstorm blew in with a fierce wind, and he had to take shelter. After the storm, he heard the sound of a church bell in the distance.To his mind sprang words which would one day become famous: O Lord, my God, When I in awesome wonder, consider all the worlds They hands hath made . . .  

Over the next years, this poem was turned into a hymn, translated into various other languages, set to music, and sung in various countries ranging from the Ukraine to India. In the latter half of the last century, the hymn was brought to America where George Beverly Shea made it famous when he sang it over 100 times at Billy Graham crusades across the world.

Here it is, sung by the great George Bev Shea with a massed choir.Take a few minutes and allow these beautiful words to wash over your soul.

Isn't it wonderful?

It Is Well With My Soul

On November 21st, 1873, the French ocean liner, Ville du Havre crossed the Atlantic from the United States of America to Europe. Five of the 313 passengers were Mrs. Spafford and her four daughters. Her husband, Horatio G. Spafford was a successful lawyer and businessman in Chicao, who was unexpectedly detained and planned to follow them in a few days.

Four days after the liner left dock, it collided with a powerful iron-hulled ship and sank. Most of the passengers drowned, including the four Spafford children. One of the few survivors was Mrs. Spafford. On landing in Wales, she sent her husband a wire saying, "Saved alone. What must I do?"

Mr. Spafford boarded the next available ship to join his grieving wife. Four days later, the captain informed him there were over the place where his children had gone down with the ship. While on the journey, Spafford wrote the words, When peace like a river attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll     . . . The words of the now well-loved hymn "It Is Well With My Soul".  Allow these words to soak into your heart and spirit.

Storms to Peace

Two storms of a very different nature led to the writing of two of our greatest loved hymns, and you can probably think of others.

How about you? What storms have you faced? Have you learned how great God is through the tough times as well as the good times? Have you found through them all to trust in Jesus?

Can South Africa and all the other countries that need peace unite in turning to God? Then we will see peace like a river moving through our countries and our world.

And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, shall keep your hearts, your minds through Christ Jesus Philippians 4:7.

Have a great weekend, full of the joy and peace that can only come from Jesus!

SHIRLEY CORDER lives on the coast of South Africa with her husband, Rob. She has recently embarked on a series of eBooks titled, Out of the Shadow.
Available now:Naomi, Beloved Mother-in-Law Eve, Mother of All
Miriam Part 1, Devoted Sister
Strength Renewed: Meditations for your Journey through Breast Cancer contains 90 meditations for those facing cancer.

Please visit Shirley through, where she encourages writers, or at, where she encourages those in the cancer valley. You can also meet with her on Twitter or FaceBook.


  1. Beautiful songs and a beautiful reminder, Shirl. Thank you for sharing. Praying today for South Africa as well as my own country. May we rise up and turn to Him!

    1. Thank you Lisa. Yes, it's been quite a day in South Africa with people turning out in their thousands to protest. Praise God it was a basically peaceful day. It could have turned very nasty. Amen - may our countries rise up in the strength of the Lord.

  2. Those songs are an amazing reminder of the peace that comes only from Him. Beautiful post, Shirley, thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you Leila. It did my own heart good to re-listen to these hymns. They just lifted my spirit to where it should always be - in the presence of the Lord.