Sunday, March 29, 2009

"IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL"



Have you ever heard the hymn “It Is Well With My Soul”? Being a “Preacher’s Kid” I was in church every Sunday as a child and I heard this song a lot! I easily memorized the words and melody to this deeply loved hymn and to this day it is one of my favorite congregational songs to sing…

Several years ago our pastor gave my hubbs a book called “Hymn Stories” hoping it might give him some insight as he selected the music for our Sunday’s church services. Inside the book’s pages one can read the inspiring, factual backgrounds and experiences that prompted the writing of so many beloved inspirational songs. The song begins:

“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.


Tho Satan should buffet, tho trails should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed his own blood for my soul.
.
My sin- O the bliss of this glorious tho’t-
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!

And, Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll-
The trump shall re-sound and the Lord shall descend,
‘Even-so”- It is well with my soul.

It is well….With my soul…It is well, it is well with my soul.”

Although I’ve read the story behind this hymn many times before, something today prompted me to read it again. I want to share just a bit of it with you. After you read this condensed version I hope you will then go back and re-read the words above (you can also listen to the melody on my playlist below or hear it sung by following the link)...

“It Is Well With My Soul” was written by a Church Layman, named Horatio G. Spafford in 1828. As a young man he established a very successful legal practice in Chicago. Even thou he enjoyed great financial success, he held fast to his Christian Faith as well as the close relationship he had with D.L. Moody and other evangelical leaders of that time.

A few months before the Chicago Fire of 1871, Spafford had invested heavily in real estate on the shore of Lake Michigan. All of his holdings were wiped out by the disaster which came on the heels of him losing his only son to Scarlet Fever. Desiring rest for his grieving wife and four daughters, Spafford planned a European trip for his family in 1873. However, due to some last minute business developments, he was unable to travel. Instead he sent his wife and children ahead, promising to follow in a few days.

In early November the ship his family was traveling on was struck by the Lochearn, an English vessel, and sank in twelve minutes. Several days later the survivors landed in Wales. Mrs. Spafford cabled her husband, “Saved Alone.”

Shortly afterward Spafford left by ship to join his devastated wife. It is speculated that on the sea near the area where it was thought his four daughters had drowned, Spafford penned this text with words so significantly describing his own personal grief- “When sorrows like sea billows roll…”

Can you even imagine losing your entire family...all five of your children?

It is amazing to me that Mr. Spafford could experience such personal loss and immeasurable tragedy and still be able to pen the words: “It Is Well With My Soul”

It is my prayer for each of you that you will always remember there is nothing too big for our God! I've had many trials in my own life and have numerous concerns that I constantly place at the feet of Jesus. As you face the days ahead, I pray that you, too, will be able to say with such convincing clarity, “It is well with my soul!”

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYFjikyp7mQ&feature=related

Blessings to you this beautiful Sunday...Rebecca

20 comments:

Mary H said...

Hello Rebecca~~
Enjoyed your thoughts this evening...I too love the meaning and messages behind the hymns we sing at church. I own a similar book that explains the feelings and sometimes why each song is inspired. Sad story about this family...God inspired that father's legacy of his family in a song. I can't imagine losing my children like that. I feel very blessed this Sunday (and always) and thank our Father in heaven for everything!! Thanks for sharing...Inspiring higher!! Love & Hugs, Mary H.

Rose Petals & Blooms said...

Thank you so much Rebecca for your inspirational post.

I too pray that if I were faced with such horror as to loose a loved one that I would have the faith and grace to open my heart and say "It is well with my soul" as Mr. Spafford did.

Thank you so much for visiting my blog, Rebecca. I'm always delighted to see your comments! My hubby and I had a wonderful dinner date, and are still smiling with our memories~

Many blessings for a wonderful week~

xoxoxo
Michelle

A Stitch In Thyme said...

Though my sibling family was not torn apart by death, we were torn apart by tragedy. This is truly a story that should be shared as often as your readers would permit to remind everyone to love each now, this minute.

Lay down your arguements, worries and troubles and take up arms against the temptaions. I today, this very day, lost sight of my patience and my strength. My physical body won the battle today, but tonight, The Trilogy Rules my soul. Through prayer I will of course seek out more patience and guidance on how to carry myself with grace even under pressures that seem overwhelming.

I'll pray to be reminded that love is Godly and worldly when you surround yourself with those who you love & love you back without judgement.

Wonderful post MsR

Betty Jo said...

Rebecca thank you for dropping by my blog. It's been just awesome meeting you and exploring your heavenly blog. Your post today is incredible and this is one of my favorite hymns. It's meaning has been much clearer for me in the past few months since losing the most precious person of my life, my sweet husband. ♥

Connie said...

Several years ago, a man, whose parents we knew, accidentally ran over their toddler with a farm tractor when she was behind it without his knowledge. She died. They were devastated but it wasn't the end of their trials on earth.

A few years later, five teenagers were driving to early morning seminary in the snow when their car skidded and they ended up in a pond. One of their teenagers were driving and all five drowned - three of them were their children. One of their teens was driving. Evidence showed that all the teens had their scriptures open and were reading. Their father was the bishop in their ward at that time and his counselors told him they would conduct the funeral; he refused and conducted the funeral for his children himself. He got through it knowing he would see them again in the eternities and would be together as a family again someday.

Then again, a few years ago, another woman of our faith had a hubby and 4 or 5 children that went on a birthday airplane ride. She didn't. The plane crashed and her hubby and all their children were killed. She also was devastated that her whole family was wiped out in one fell swoop.

I cried and cried for those families and tears are flowing freely down my checks as I type this. I cannot even imagine and don't ever want to imagine what they went through. But through it all both families know they will live together as a family some day. It's what gets them through the rough and tough times.

Like Job of old, they lost their families early, but we know with certainty that it isn't forever; we will see them again.

But your post was absolutely beautiful and brought that to my mind and how lucky and blessed I am to have the knowledge of Christ and his gospel to get me through what I consider tough times, but as He said, "I never promised you it would be easy, just that it would be worth." I KNOW this with all my heart............

xoxo,
Connie

Tanza said...

Good morning sweet~r~,
What a beautiful post by you this day.. To be such a brave, trusting, honorable man.. To be commended.. And in God's face he will be.. I know all of this to be true, and our faith is what gets us through, each day, each trial..The Lord leaves nothing unfinished, .. Amazing..Beautiful words to read, as well as sing.. How wonderful R, you were raised by such a God-fearing,loving man.. It's truly had an impact on your life.. Yes, God is good, and HIS ways we shall follow, and trust.. Thanks for the up-lifting,convicting,post today.. You're the best and I soo love your sweet, God seeking heart.. hugs ~tea~xo

Sandra~Romantique Inspirations~ said...

I myself don't know how people do anything without the Lord Jesus. He truly is our everything in our daily lives, especially his comfort during any kind of crisis we may face in our life time. You can't do it alone!

Lee Laurie said...

Rebecca,
This post really touched my heart. I have sung this song over and over at our church as a child and as an adult and never new the meaning behind it. I can't imagine the pain that he and his wife went through. His faith was amazing. God knows all of the answers and he has a reason for everything. I feel very blessed too after reading this post. Thank you for reminding me that there is nothing to big for God to handle. My family and I are going through some trying times right now and being reminded of this makes it seem so small. I pray that He will help us through our trying times.

Hugs,
Lee Laurie

A Romantic Porch said...

Rebecca, So beautifully written. It is well with MY soul...inspite of everything. Thank you for this awesome reminder. Have a wonderful week. xorachel

Secondhandrose said...

I first heard that song in church many years ago. And I was brought to tears as a lady who had just lost her husband, was sitting in front of me and ever so quietly singing along and I was stunned. Thanks for the story behind it.
karen

Barb~Bella Vista said...

Rebecca, thank you for your calm and loving post. I so enjoyed it.

God is so good...all the time!!

Blessings, Barb

Sharon's Cottage Quilts said...

Rebecca! You always amaze me with your insightful posts. Your writings are like poetry from the heavens. Bless you friend,
Sharon

Beautiful Pear Tree Lane said...

Rebecca,
This has always been a favorite hymn of my husband and I, and it took on more special meaning when we heard the story behind it. I am always touched when I read it again, what an awesome testimony of this man's faithfulness to God, when he could have become so bitter,thank you for sharing this!!!
I knew there was something special about you, and tonight to find out that you were the daughter of a minister, I am truly blessed, there is such a sweet spirit here on your blog!!
Blessings,
Sue

jenX67 said...

I never get tired of hearing this story. You first shared it with me probably 15 years ago. Loved it then and now - and the one about Caroline Sandell Berg, too. (Day by Day). -jen

rosechicfriends said...

Dearest Rebecca!
Thank you so much for this post. I had read it a couple of days ago but having been so troubled in my own soul could not yet respond. God really has used this song the past few days to bring home that HE still is in control and KNOWS. I am living by faith..not by feeling cause if I was right now I'd fallen into a pit of self pity.

I had heard that story some time ago..but this song was one I'd sang as a young teen in our church choir and its words never leave you. I just needed a good reminder. Thanks for being so open to the HS leading and sharing this!

God Bless...Lorena

Anonymous said...

Becky--

What a lovely post. I never tire of hearing this hymn. We don't sing it often enough in church. Strange-- Before I read your post, I found myself sing this song and shared it with your dad. It is one of his favorites. God is so good. Thanks for sharing.

Hugs-- Mom

English Cottage in Georgia said...

I so love that song and did not know of the story behind it. Thanks so much for enlightening me.

Stephanie ~ Angelic Accents said...

Hello Rebecca! Oh how I adore that song & it will be even more special to me each time I sing it now that I know the history behind it. Thanks so much for the inspiration your blog always brings to my heart!

Hugs,
Stephanie
Angelic Accents

nanadooof2 said...

Rebecca, thank you so much for sharing your God-given talents via your blog. I look forward every day to your words of inspiration and your latest finds and makeovers. Keep it coming girl! You're the best!
Love in Christ,
Marie

Jennifer said...

This was so inspiring, sad in the story told but true in the power of our Lord. When I was diagnosed with Kidney Cancer last May - I thought, everyone thought I should be afraid, upset, panicky. But I had this overwhelming calmness and it never went away. During all the tests, the surgery, the pain. I have told others and can say it now - GOD held me in HIS arms and gave me care - HE gave me peace. The biggest concern I had was that my loved ones were so upset and I asked for peace for them - I believe it came from my joy and comfort. Our Lord does that. I just had my 1 year clear Ct Scan. With Love, Jennifer come and visit some time at jennsthreegraces "He walks with me and He talks with me..."

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