Sunday, August 23, 2015

Sunday Reflection...

Not long ago I was talking with a friend, and she told me about a young woman who had just died of cancer leaving her young children motherless.  The hymn, It Is Well with My Soul was sung at her funeral.  My friend asked if I knew the history behind the hymn. I do, and it's one of my favorite hymns.  The very next Sunday [8/16] we sang it at my church, so I decided to share it on Sunday Reflection.

The hymn was written by Horatio Spafford in 1873 under tragic circumstances. It was published in 1876, and has been an enduring hymn of the church ever since.

Mr. Spafford was a successful lawyer and businessman in Chicago, but The Great Chicago Fire of 1871 destroyed almost all of his real estate investments.  In November 1873, he planned a trip to England with his wife and four daughters for a much needed vacation. He intended to sail with his family, but when unexpected business arose he sent them on ahead, with plans to join them a few days later. 

While crossing the Atlantic, their ship collided with another ship and quickly sank, and the four Spafford children perished. A sailor spotted Mrs. Spafford floating on a piece of wreckage  and rescued her.  When the vessel docked she wired her husband saying, "Saved alone, what shall I do?"  Mr. Spafford booked passage on the next available ship to join his grieving wife.  The ship's captain told Mr. Spafford when they passed over the place where the ship went down and his children perished, and he penned the words to the great hymn.

     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."

     Chorus:  It is well with my soul.  It is well, it is well with my soul.  

How wonderful to have steadfast faith in the midst of life's gravest circumstances and situations.

May God bless your week!


  1. That is one of my favorite hymns, and the story of its writing never fails to move me. What a strong faith! It is an inspiration to us all.

  2. Also one of favorite songs. Have heard it used in gospel messages several times.

  3. I love this hymn as well. I always associate it with a dear friend who is a pastor's wife, and even when her beloved soulmate passed away young and unexpectedly, she was still able to sing "It Is Well with My Soul." What a testimony — both then and now!


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