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
. 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. Chicago
A few months before the Chicago Fire of 1871, Spafford had invested heavily in real estate on the
. 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. shore of Lake Michigan
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
. Mrs. Spafford cabled her husband, “Saved Alone.” Wales
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 46:1http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYFjikyp7mQ&feature=related
Blessings to you this beautiful Sunday...Rebecca