I love the old hymns of the church – the stalwart songs that got people through thick and thin. Don’t get me wrong, I also enjoy some of the more modern worship songs, but nothing can take the place of the standards. There are many that I love and sing, but my all time favorite is – “It is Well with my soul”.
Several years ago I learned the story behind this beloved hymn and it makes the words even more meaningful.
“It is Well with my Soul” was written by Horatio Spafford, a wealthy Chicago lawyer who lived in the mid 1800’s. He had a thriving legal practice, a wife, four daughters and a son. He was a devout Christian and studied the Scripture faithfully.
Horatio and his wife Anna suffered the tragic loss of their young son. Shortly after that, on October 8, 1871, the great Chicago fire destroyed almost every real estate investment that Spafford had.
In 1873, Spafford scheduled a boat trip to Europe with his family, to help them all recover. Unfortunately, he needed to take care of some unexpected last-minute business, so he sent his wife and daughters ahead of him. Several days later he received notice that the ship his family was on had sunk and all four of his daughters drowned. His wife sent a telegram that simply said “survived, alone”.
With a heavy heart, Spafford boarded a boat that would take him to his grieving Anna in England. While he was passing the spot where the ship sank and his daughters were lost, he was inspired to write these words:
“When sorrows like sea billows roll; it is well with my soul, it is well with my soul.”
WOW! I can’t even imagine the pain that Stafford experienced during this incredible loss, yet he responds to God with praise.
I have to wonder – is that how I would respond? How about you?
We all have problems in life. The path we travel is a rocky one with obstacles in the way, but we have come through trials one way or another.
My life has not been an easy one. I was diagnosed with MS several years ago and it has impacted my life in many ways. It totally destroyed my first marriage because my husband couldn’t deal with the disease.
When my son was 10, he was hit by a car. His injuries were significant and required a long hospitalization and slow recovery. Years later, as an adult, he had a spinal cord injury and is now paralyzed from the waist down. You can imagine what we, as a family, went through.
Sixteen years ago, I married Emery – a wonderful man. We both have MS and he is now in a power chair. My days are filled taking care of him and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
It would be easy to be mad at God, but I thank God for whatever he brings our way. God doesn’t do anything to hurt us – just to teach us and bring us closer to Him. I have learned much through every situation that He has laid before me. No matter what, God always sees us through.
We live in a fallen world surrounded by hate, anger and deceit. If you know in your heart, in your spirit, that it is “well with my soul”, you can face anything in life. There will always be battles. You must decide to be strong because you know that God will be with you.
He will NEVER forsake you. Remember “Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.”
God wants us to reach out to him every day – not just on Sundays or when times are bad. He will be there for the good, the bad and the ugly. He will stick closer than a brother, if we let Him.
If you don’t know for sure that it is well with your soul, reach out and ask God.
He’s just waiting for your whisper……….
I hope you enjoyed reading this article.
Be sure to check out another of my articles: We Gather Together
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