Saturday, April 27, 2013
"It Is Well With My Soul"
It is Well with My Soul, a beautiful, inspiring hymn, which was movingly sung at a sister in Christ’s memorial service by her church choir, is an impressive testimony of one man’s refusal to let personal tragedy destroy his faith in God. For more than a century, the tragic story of Horatio Spafford has given hope to others.
Spafford, a devout Christian and faithful Bible student, was a wealthy Chicago lawyer who enjoyed a successful legal practice and a beautiful, happy family. His friends included Dwight L. Moody and other well-known Christians of his day.
Unfortunately, his young son died in 1871, and in that same year he lost almost every real estate investment he had in the Great Chicago fire. To give his wife and four daughters a vacation and time to recover from the tragedy, and to join friends in an evangelistic campaign in England, he scheduled a boat trip to Europe. At the last minute, however, he had to stay behind to take care of some unexpected business, but he sent his wife and daughters ahead.
During the voyage, the ship his family was on collided with another ship and sank. His wife Anna, alone survived, and sent him a telegram, “Saved…alone.” As soon as he could, Spafford boarded another ship to sail to meet Anna in England. The captain of this ship notified him when they were crossing over the spot where the tragedy had occurred. Later, In his cabin, unable to sleep, Spafford said to himself, “It is well; the will of God be done.” Later he wrote his hymn based on those words. Philip Bliss, whose life story is also tragic, wrote the music for the hymn.
"When peace like a river attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll, Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say: It is well; it is well with my soul."