Horatio Spafford penned down the hymn, “It Is Well With My Soul” around 1876 after series of calamitous events that shook the very foundation of his life.
A wealthy Chicago lawyer with a thriving legal practice, a beautiful home, a wife, four daughters and a son Horatio Spafford (1828-1888) was also a devout Christian and faithful student of the Scriptures. His circle of friends included Dwight L. Moody, Ira Sankey and various other well-known Christians of the day.
Just when it seemed that he had reached the height of his financial and professional success, Horatio and his wife Anna suffered the tragic loss of their young son. Shortly thereafter on October 8, 1871, the Great Chicago Fire destroyed almost every real estate investment that Spafford had.
2 years later, in 1873, Spafford scheduled a boat trip to Europe in order to give his wife and daughters a much needed vacation and time to recover from the tragedy. He also went to join Moody and Sankey on an evangelistic campaign in England. He sent his wife and daughters ahead of him while he remained in Chicago to take care of some unexpected last minute business. Several days later he received notice that his family’s ship had encountered a collision. All four of his daughters drowned; only his wife had survived.
With a heavy heart, Spafford boarded a boat that would take him to his grieving Anna in England. It was on this trip that he penned those now famous words…
When sorrow like sea billows roll; it is well, it is well with my soul...
For more than a century, the tragic story of one man has given hope to countless thousands who have lifted their voices to sing; it Is Well With My Soul.
3 Things You Can Learn from the Story Behind the Song, “IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL.”
1. Bad Things Can Happen to Good People.
I’m a faith believer. I confess good things and pray regularly for good things to happen to my life and family. However, one thing I’ve come to accept as life truth is that bad things can and do happen to good people as well.
I’ve said a few times while sharing the Word of God that…
being a Christian does not make us immune from challenges and life obstacles. In fact, it seems that being a Christian exposes us to more attacks and discouraging circumstances.
But we can be rest assured that there is always victory at the end. God will never allow you to experience what you cannot bear.
I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 New Living Translation)
2. We may not understand why bad things happen to good people.
Why should Spafford experience the tragedies and loss that he did even though he was a devout Christian? Why didn’t God protect His child? Why did God let such thing happen to someone whose resources are committed to evangelism?
These are questions that people have asked for ages. I am not different. I’ve asked this question hundreds of times and many times no answer seems to soothe that quest.
The truth is that there are things we will never understand while on this earth. But we can rest on God’s Word that all things are working together for our good.
So even when you are beclouded with so many questions, believe that God will not leave you nor forsake you. Surely, when we get to heaven, we will understand so many things.
3. Your Story Can Give Hope and Help Others
For more than a century, the tragic story of one man has given hope to countless thousands who have lifted their voices to sing;
It Is Well With My Soul.
Look beyond the pieces of your life today. Your story has a message of hope for others.
Look up to God and remain steadfast.
Keep moving forward.
Continue in faith and prayers.
Your light will surely shine.
If you have a story of hope and deliverance, please send it for our edification. Send it to me on: firstname.lastname@example.org