“It Is Well” The Story Behind the Song

The Story Behind the Song—

The lyrics to the song, “It Is Well With My Soul” was written by a Heratio Spafford, a successful lawyer, a loving husband, the father of five precious children and a strong Christian. This man faced more tragedy in a few short years than most do in a lifetime.

In 1871 his only son died of pneumonia at the tender age of 4. That same year, the Great Chicago Fire destroyed a large portion of his business that he’d worked so hard to build. Then in 1873, he sent his wife, Anna and four daughters to Europe for the summer holiday, a business problem preventing him from going so he planned to join them later. On the fourth day of his family’s voyage to Europe their ship collided with a barge and his four daughters perished at sea along with almost all the passengers aboard. His wife was found in the sea, clinging to a board, and was rescued. She send her husband a telegram which simply read, “Saved alone. What shall I do?”

Heratio boarded a ship to Europe to be with his wife. Four day into his voyage the captain of the ship called to him to tell him that they were passing over the place where his daughters were lost at sea. It was there that he wrote a song – “Whatever my lot, You have taught me to say – It is well, it is well with my soul.”

I don’t know what you might be facing but I do know that there is a grace given to those who choose a grateful heart. In their deepest pain, rather than blaming God they look up and take hold of an eternal truth that neither life nor death, angels or demons can take from them. God is faithful and eternity (the Kingdom of Heaven) is near.

May we, in moments of deep pain and loss, choose to look up to the One who gave his all and gain strength with a heart that puts its trust in God alone. May we too say, “It is well, with my soul.”

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