I've been thinking about them often. I even attended my first ever Methodist service with Paige and heard an old song with ORGANS for the first time! It was beautiful. I find them useful to call upon when trying to calm a baby, calm yourself, or hum along to when you are driving with no music. They are old, they are tried and true, they are lovely. I mean, I know I'm old school, but do you feel me on this a little bit??
One day while working at the hospital, I picked up one of the magazines offered in a waiting area. I was surprised to turn to a page with my all-time favorite hymn: It Is Well With My Soul. I am not sure how I have lived my whole life without knowing the story of this 1873 song by Horatio G. Spafford. It's astounding. Below is a link to a site that gives the whole story. It's a good read.
Story of It Is Well with My Soul
Here's the quick story. Spafford was a lawyer from Chicago. He had a prominent family and was well known as a successful businessman. In the 1870s, tragedies began to happen. He lost a son to scarlet fever, and then lost most of his money in the Chicago fire. He decided to take his wife and 4 daughters to England for a vacation and rest. Right before the ship was to leave, he had to stay behind for work. He sent them on ahead with the promise to come as soon as possible.
Eight days later, he received a telegram from his wife that said "Saved Alone". The ship hit another ship and sank in 12 minutes taking the lives of 226 people. Four of those people were his daughters. His wife survived against all odds and unconscious. She awoke to a world without her girls.
Spafford sailed as soon as he could to join his wife. When the captain said that they were crossing the area of waters where the ship sank, he went to his cabin and wrote this beautiful song...
- 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.
- Refrain: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.
- 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!
- 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 lifeThou wilt whisper Thy peace to 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!Blessed hope, blessed 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.
I can't even imagine living a terrible tragedy such as this. Most of us don't know how we would react. It has truly made me count and count and count my blessings. It has also let me know that my heartaches are also something to which "Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul". Such great comfort and joy we have in Him!!
I hope you can find the beauty in this story if you are like me and had never heard this piece of history. I'll leave you with wise words from Mrs. Spafford soon after the ship sank and she learned she was without her children:
Then she heard a voice speak to her,
"You were spared for a purpose." And she immediately recalled the words of a friend, "It's easy to be grateful
and good when you have so much, but take care that you are not a fair-weather friend to God."
It is well y'all. It really is.