Recently I heard the story of the Horatio G. Spafford. He lived in Chicago in 1871 and was a businessman and a lawyer. He lost most of his fortune in the great Chicago fire. A couple of years after that tragedy his family planned to go on a trip to England. His wife and four daughters left on a ship while he remained behind to finish work in Chicago. He planned to join them later. However, the ship that carried his wife and daughters crashed, trapping people onboard. Only his wife survived the wreck. The news of the wreck reached Horatio Spafford and he set out on the first ship available. On the voyage, the captain of the ship came and notified Horatio when they had reached the area where his family’s ship had gone down. Shortly after, Horatio wrote the words to the famous hymn, “It is Well with My Soul”.
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.
The song talks about how even in the midst of incredible pain, you can have peace in your soul. How could someone who had experienced such terrible loss write those words – especially so soon after it happened?
Horatio Spafford was a man of God. He and his wife had a deep faith. He trusted God to carry him through the darkest moments of life.
We all face loss and grief. There will be times that cause us to struggle but even in the midst of those moments we can rely upon the peace of Christ. He helps us to pass through the hard times and helps us to thrive in the good times. Life was meant to be lived to the fullest and God can help us do that.
Brooks Lambert, St. Luke’s Member