It Is Well With My Soul

Horatio G. Spafford was Chicago lawyer will a thriving business and a well-rounded family. His faith was steadfast and strong, but what most people don’t know is that he would undergo some extremely trying struggles and tests before he would  become the author of the well-known hymn “It is Well with my Soul”. In 1870, Spafford’s youngest son, Horatio Jr., died of scarlet fever, leaving the family devastated. The following year, the Chicago fire broke out and Spafford lost everything – his entire business, all of his holdings, and his real estate. Again, destruction and devastation would test his faith. But following would be the greatest of his trials.

Two years later, Spafford planned to take his family to Europe on a sort of “holiday” from the hardships that they had suffered in Chicago. God had other plans. In November, as the Spafford family was on its way to the ship that would take them to England, Horatio was suddenly called back to Chicago on urgent business. His family went on alone and set sail for England, where they would meet Dwight L. Moody. However, the sovereign hand of God yet held the lives of the Spafford family in his hand…. even when their ship collided with another vessel and sank in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean within twelve minutes of the collision. Horatio’s remaining four daughters drown. He later received a telegram from his wife in England, who had been picked up amid floating debris by another steamer: “Saved alone.”

Later Horatio met his wife in England and they sailed together to the exact location where the steamer had sunk, taking with it 222 crew members and passengers, and the four daughters of the Chicago lawyer. There, as he floated above ocean water 3 miles deep, Horatio G. Spafford penned these hopeful words from a distraught heart that was crying out to God:

It Is Well With My Soul

 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.

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.

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!

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!

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.

One Response to “It Is Well With My Soul”
  1. This song has been in my mind for days as I am facing the impending death of a child whom I care for in an orphanage. Thank you for sharing its background.

    I saw on the Showcase forum that you are looking for other Christian blogs, so I decided to check yours out. Mine is focused on my work in South Africa, though I speak a lot on how it changes me and what I am learning, from a Christian perspective.

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