It is well with my soul

Friday, October 20, 2006


I am sure most of us are already familiar with the sad story behind the lovely hymn, It is Well with My Soul, written by Horatio Spafford. I was preparing for an upcoming training on worship when I come across it again and it brought tears to my eyes. I told myself, how dare I complain. O Lord, have mercy on us.

Horatio Spafford was a lawyer born in 1828 who had a close relationship with D.L. Moody. Tragedy after tragedy struck him so gravely that it is a wonder how he would have survived it all. The only person who would really understand him could very well be Job himself. Spafford’s only son died, and the Chicago fire of 1871 wiped out his real estate holdings, which he invested heavily upon. Wanting to go for a vacation with his wife and four daughters, he sent them by ship to Great Britain to join D.L. Moody. Spafford was delayed due to last minute business arrangements and as he was making preparations to join his family, he received a cable from his wife that read, “Saved alone.” On November 22, 1873, the English vessel his wife and daughters were on, the Lochearn, was struck and sank in twelve minutes.

Anguished and heartbroken, he immediately left by ship to join his wife. There, in the midst of his sorrow, he wrote the hymn with these most unforgettable words.

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, 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 has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with 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!
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

But, Lord, ‘tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh trump of the angel! Oh voice of the Lord!
Blessèd hope, blessèd rest of my soul!
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with 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.
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Maeghan
Picture from http://www.gracelivingstonhill.com/spafford.htm (The hymn, written in Horatio's own hand, is still on display in Israel.)

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3 comment(s)

  1. Maeghan,

    I love that song and whenver I hear it, I don't know what makes me well up more: the song or the story behind it.

    What a testimony!

    God Bless
    doug

    ReplyDelete
  2. It so calming for such a hard story. We are an a cappella church, it’s so beautiful when they sing it.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Milly,
    I wish we could sing accapella and sound just as good :) Do you sing in parts naturally?

    ReplyDelete