Horatio G. Spafford is the author of the hymn "It is well with my soul".
This week I will share with you some amazing stories of people like you and me who got struck by calamity and yet discovered grace in their faith.
Horatio was a lawyer and was very knowledgeable in Real Estate as Chicago Illinois was growing at that time into a metropolis, Horatio made good investments and great profits. He was well respected among his peers in the city and was considered a man of impeccable integrity. One of his friends was evangelist Dwight L. Moody, it was at Sunday Scool class where he first met his wife Anna. Through the support of his Minister and his family, he found spiritual fulfilment and growth.
"When Horatio realized that Anna, fourteen years younger than he, was only fifteen, he arranged for three years tuition at a boarding school near Chicago before the idea of marriage could be discussed. The couple married in 1861." source www.christians.com
Horacio considered his blessing to be at home, his wife Anna gave birth to four daughters and one son. In the fall of 1871 his only son died of scarlet fever. Not long after that on October 8th, 1871, tragedy struck the Stafford's again. The Great Chicago fire swept away much of the Real Estate he had invested in. Despite of his loss, he was trying to help his friends who had much serious financial sit backs than he did. His evangelist friend Dwight L. Moody traveled to England to minister and Horatio decided to follow him. He bought six tickets on the Ville du Havre, a luxurious vessel to cross the Atlantic Ocean. Days before their departure Horatio was called to finalize some legal papers with regards to the property he had lost in the fire and needed to stay a few more days. He insisted that his family would travel any way. Four days into the voyage, the ship sank. He received a telegram from his was with two letter message " Saved alone". immediately Horatio took a boat to meet his grieving wife and four days into voyage the captain told Horatio " I believe this is where the Ville du Havre went down. Horatio spent hours of contemplation and prayer and in the depth of his sorrow the word of God and his promises suddenly were shining into his heart and found an amazing grace in God's presence. Sorrow became Hope!
He penned down at sea the most amazing lyrics out of his broken heart, as if he was in the sea of life, that no matter what comes your way, through it all God will not leave you and He will not forsake you.
Consider when you read the lyrics that these words come from a man with a broken heart but who in the mists of the darkness he called unto the Lord and clung unto him for comfort and guidance. The result are sum in the lyrics:
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.
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.
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 life, Thou 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.