“It Is Well With My Soul” by Horatio G. Spafford
I think that I can safely say that this is my favorite song. For a person (me) who has a super hard time choosing a favorite anything — especially books, photos, & songs — that’s saying a lot.
When I first heard the story behind this song, I cried. I had always liked the song, but after that I loved it. If you’ve never heard about the experiences that brought Horatio Spafford to a point in his life where only God could comfort him, I encourage you to Click Here and read more.
Horatio Spafford was a successful lawyer in 1860’s Chicago, IL. He was married and had 4 daughters. Within a couple of years, however, his life changed dramatically. In 1871, the Great Chicago Fire destroyed almost everything he owned. And, in November of 1873, all 4 of his daughters were killed in a shipwreck while on their way to Europe with their mother. When he heard the news of his daughters’ deaths, Spafford immediately joined his wife in Europe. While on this voyage, Horatio Spafford wrote these words.
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.
Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blessed assurance control,
That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
My sin — oh the bliss of this glorious thought! —
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 resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.
Hearing the story behind the words caused them to have so much more meaning for me. To realize that these words came from a hurting heart rather than just an imagination. Horatio Spafford experienced those “sorrows like sea billows” and could still say that it was well with his soul. I mean… How many people could say that when they weren’t going through trials, much less when they’re in the midst of them?
Can you imagine receiving a message from your spouse that read something like this?