Grieving over the recent death of their four-year old son to Scarlet Fever, the family was further devastated by the Chicago fire of 1871 that destroyed much of their holdings. The father decided to get away with his wife and four daughters on a ship back to England where they were to join up with Moody in his evangelistic meetings. At the last-minute the father had a business complication and sent the wife and daughters on ahead. Their ship collided with a French ship killing 226 on board. Nine days later Horatio G. Spafford received a telegram from his wife that read, “soul survivor”. He booked passage to join his grieving wife and while passing over the spot where the ship had gone down with his daughters, he penned the following hymn that we sing.
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. Refrain 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! Refrain 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. Refrain: 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! Refrain 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. Refrain
There is nothing new under the sun … nothing has changed since Job’s time in the Bible … day in and day out good people suffer. Our children should be raised to know that no matter WHAT happens, once we are Christ’s, “it is well with our soul”. NOTHING can take that away from them … from us .. EVER. And that is all that matters.
This was true for Job, it is truth on which we can stand. The Psalmist penned:
Psalm 46: 1-3 ” 1 God is our refuge and strength, a helper who is always found in times of trouble. 2 Therefore we will not be afraid, though the earth trembles and the mountains topple into the depths of the seas, 3 though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with its turmoil. Selah”
What happens when you cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel? When the end is not in sight? When it DOESN’T get better. How fair-weather is our faith? Is our faith dependent on our circumstances?
Twice yesterday I heard “It Is Well With My Soul” played on the radio. And then at church we sang, ” Great Is Thy Faithfulness” . The Chorus of this great hymn is also a truth on which we can stand.
Great is Thy faithfulness
Great is Thy faithfulness
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me
Our needs are provided … the problem we have is that we let our wants get in the way. Acceptance of Christ = SOUL SAFE. That alone is all anyone needs. God, however, provides our needs. When you look at your life, and when you teach your child to look at their life, each of you realize that you have your needs met and provided for … Know Christ = it is well with YOUR soul.