I have been thinking that, in spite of my poor physical health, I am fortunate that, spiritually and emotionally, I am well. That thought brings to mind one of my favorite hymns, “It Is Well with My Soul.” The words of this hymn were born of tragedy.
Economic and Personal tragedies struck Horatio Spafford and his family in a way that could well have turned someone away from God, but Spafford took the tragedies of his life and turned them into a heartfelt expression that would become a beloved hymn. Spafford lived with his family in Chicago. He had earned a good living and made several investments in real estate. In 1871, he and his wife Anna lost their only son to Scarlet Fever. Then the Great Chicago Fire destroyed most of his real estate holdings.
About two years later, Spafford decided to take an overseas trip with his family. However, business matters kept him behind, so he sent his wife Anna and their four daughters ahead on the journey. The trip turned tragic when the ship they were on was struck by a large industrial ship, taking the lives of 226 passengers, including all four of the Spafford daughters, Annie, Bessie, Tanetta and Maggie. Horatio’s wife, Anna, survived. When she arrived in England, she sent a chilling telegram to her husband with only two words, “Saved Alone”.
It would be two years before Horatio would sail to England to rejoin his wife. While on the voyage across the ocean, he was made aware of the very spot where the accident had occurred, taking the lives of his four daughters. There he penned the words to the song, “It Is Well With My Soul.”
We are truly blessed if we can say, in spite of every life tragedy, it is well with my soul. I hope you will receive a blessing from reading some of the words of this hymn and listening to the YouTube version at the link below.
“It Is Well with My Soul”
Words by: Horatio Gates Spafford, 1873.
Music by: Philip Paul Bliss, 1876.
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 hath regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
And Lord haste the day when the 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.