This verse is God's reply to the prophet Jeremiah's plea for the situation he is in to change. Jeremiah is weary, he is frustrated and confused. He is experiencing a crisis of faith, of trusting God, because He just doesn't understand God's seeming inaction in his life.
Sound familar? Don't we all experience times like this? None of us are immune to trials in this life. Our human spirit will get weary, confused and at times have trouble trusting God.
This verse came alive for me at a very challenging time in my life. I felt the trial before me was beyond what I thought I was capable. I was petitioning God to 'let this cup pass', so that I would not be faced with what I knew would test me sorely. I, like Jeremiah, was weary, frustrated and confused. I wasn't trusting God, and instead was trusting in my own abilities.
And then, He showed me this verse. And oh how it spoke to me. You see, I had been running with footmen, meaning I had a pretty normal, very blessed life. Cushy is the word. I really had not been presented with very serious issues or trials. And yet I experienced times of being worn out spiritually from normal everyday life. I had fallen down in a land of peace, and now I was being asked to run with the horses...to step up my faith and trust in God in the midst of what I perceived as an insurmountable trial.
What would it take to run with the horses? I had to lose all faith in myself and my own abilities. And unfortunately I had lots of that. I had spent too many years trusting myself, my independent 'I can do it', self. Now I knew I could not possibly do 'it'. I was in a trust fall. Falling backwards into unknown, not seeing the outcome, scared.
Flash forward 6 years later. I am again facing a daunting challenge, it is looming in the not so distant future. But this time it is different. A friend has been asking me lately, "So, how are you doing, really'? My answer each time is
" It is well with my soul."
I may be a bit mentally and physically tired, but my soul is not tired. And it is because now I fully trust God, not myself. I have run with the horses, and it was intense, overwhelming, frightening yet so exhilarating. I grew, I learned, I cried, I fell, I got back up. It was the hardest thing I have ever done, and I would do it again in a heartbeat, because it allowed me to shed my old skin of self trust, and replace it with an imperishable armor of faith, a stronghold of trust in God.
What are you being called to trust God about? Are you being asked to run with the horses, or are you in a land of peace? Whatever it is, if it matters to you, it matters to God. Trust Him. Completely.