It Is Well With My Soul

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a hand with pencil writingI don’t think there are too many people who are not familiar with the song, “It Is Well With My Soul”. What many people might not be familiar with is the story behind the song.

Horatio Spafford, who wrote the song, was a wealthy Chicago lawyer with a very successful legal practice. Horatio also had a beautiful home, a loving wife, four daughters and a son. He was a devout Christian and friends with Dwight L. Moody, as well as, other well-known Christians of the day.

In 1871, at the height of his business and financial success, Horatio and his wife Anna suffered the terrible loss of their only son who was only four years old. Shortly after the loss of their son, on October 8, 1871, the Great Chicago Fire destroyed most of Horatio’s real estate holdings.

In 1873, Horatio scheduled a trip to Europe to give his family a much needed vacation, and time to deal with all the loss they had been through. At the last minute some unexpected business came up which caused Horatio to stay behind. He sent his wife and four daughters ahead with plans to catch up with them later.

Several days into the voyage the ship carrying his wife and daughters collided with another ship, the Loch Earn, and his four daughters drowned. His wife Anna survived, and sent him a telegram saying, “Saved alone”.

Shortly after that, with a very heavy heart, Horatio boarded a ship that would take him to his wife Anna in England. As the ship passed near the place where his four daughters had drowned, Horatio wrote the famous words, “When sorrow like sea billows roll; it is well, it is well with my soul”.

I have two children, and can only imagine what the Spaffords must have felt. I remember the first time hearing the story of this song; I had a huge lump in my throat. It’s a beautiful and powerful song that exemplifies what a relationship with God is all about. I don’t see how someone could get through such a tragedy without God.

I hope you will take the time to read the words to this hymn, or prayer. Read and consider these words with the Spaffords story in mind. In whatever circumstance you find yourself in right now, I hope you can you say “it is well with my soul”?

It Is Well With My Soul

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.

It is well, (it is well),
With my soul, (with my soul)
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life,
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.

But Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!
Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul.

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

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