All is Well

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rest” (Luke 2:14).

We travelled at night on our way home from Thanksgiving, on highways surrounded by emptiness. Leaving family behind and reflecting on what this past year revealed about our country, world, and my life triggered some concern and sadness. It doesn’t take long to develop a gloomy character or holiday funk. Then, interrupting my downheartedness, streaming throughout the car, came the beautiful Christmas song “All is Well” by Michael W. Smith. 

I sat there in the darkness, repeating in my mind, but all is not well. In fact, I could create quite a list of situations I would love to see changed. Couldn’t you?

None of us have to search for brokenness in our lives and world. We are all undone. Yet, in this unfinished, ruined state the Christ child entered, fulfilling prophecy after prophecy from the Old Testament. Finally, the world’s undoing encounters hope for all humankind.

At times, I shift away from the Christ who offers hope, peace, and fulfillment. The calming words “all is well” swung my thoughts back to the peace I had set aside.

After returning home from Thanksgiving I reflected further on these three comforting words.  

The saying, “all is well” dates back to at least the Civil War. In the prison camps of both the North, and South, guards would call out every hour during the night beginning at ten o’clock. “Post number one—ten o’clock and all’s well.” 

Imagine the restlessness of prisoners and guards. The constant wonderment of what their horrible circumstances held in store each day. Life would never be the same for any of them.

Now envision in that most desperate of situations an audible voice in the darkness shouting, “all is well!” Not just once, but every hour like a coo-coo clock. Perhaps those words brought prisoners and guards a shared sense of peace throughout the long night?

How much do we fear moments based in uncertainty? What if we heard, like clockwork, fear not all is well? What if we leaned hard into the words Jesus spoke? “Peace I leave you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27).

That was the message the angel delivered to terrified shepherds, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people” (Luke 2:10). Or in other words, all is well!  

For a Savior is born!

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