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.
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.
-Horatio G. Spafford
Time after time the lyrics of this hymn pop into my heart. I seem to recall this song and sing in times of either peace or pain of some sort. Everytime I can truly feel the Lord grabbing me into his arms and loving me with absolute unconditonal love. Last night during our devotion, this song was mentioned and we dsicussed it. I remember hearing the story of Horatio's life but the circumstances being reiterated brought a whole new meaning to the hymn for me. For those of you who have not heard this story, I can give you a summary of the story. Horatio Spafford was a lawyer in Chicago and he lost his 4 year old son to an outbreak of scarlet fever. Following this was the Chicago fire, which devastaed everyone including the Spaffords. They did not allow this to hold them back, while they continued to praise God for the good he had done in their life. A while later he decided to take his wife and daughters on a trip to Europe, and on the day of their depature he got a call from work and ended up staying back while the family went. On the way to Europe the ship sank and most of the passengers died, including his daughters. Somehow his wife survived and contacted him once she arrived to Europe to inform him of the news. While he was alone in this time of complete despair and loss Horatio found JOY in the Lord and writes this hymn.
Remembering the story of Horatio's life and the devestation and loss he experienced, brings so much life to the words of that hymn as I sing it. He found pure peace and comfort in Christ in the midst of his absolute darkness and writes this song saying "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!!" Those words give me chill bumps every time. It brings peace to know that in the midst of ANYTHING my God is worthy to be praised. In the midst of peace, our God is worthy to be praise. In the midst of laughing, our God is worthy to be praised. And in the midst of absolute suffering, our God is STILL worthy to be praised. This is one of the most incredible stories because it continually reminds me of how much I should praise the Lord because of how temporary our life and sufferings are. It is awesome to see the peace the Lord can bring in the midst of our darkest hour.
The one question it always leaves me with is, Have I surrendered enough to be able to praise God in my darkest or happiest hour saying "Even so, it is well with my soul?"