Horatio G. Spafford was born in North Troy, New York, on October 20, 1828. A financially successful man, he loved Christ & His word. In 1871, Spafford made a large real estate investment on the shore of Lake Michigan. Within months, the Chicago Fire of 1871 destroyed his entire investment.
Two years later, in 1873, Spafford planned to take his family to Europe to help some evangelist friends. Just before departure, unexpected business kept Horatio in Chicago, but he sent his wife and four daughters ahead on the S.S. Ville du Havre, planning to meet them in Europe in the coming days.
On November 22 the ship carrying Spafford’s family was struck by another ship and sank. Mrs. Spafford was among a few survivors who made it to Wales. Horatio was heartbroken to receive word from her that their four daughters had drowned.
Spafford set sail to join his grieving wife in Europe. En route, on the same seas where his daughters lost their lives, Horatio wrote the familiar hymn “It Is Well With My Soul”.
Note how his words--though painfully personal--do not dwell in sorrow. They center upon the redeeming work of Jesus and the anticipation of His return. Only sovereign grace could produce such conviction & hope from such sorrow & loss: “It Is Well With My Soul”.
Even in the midst of his darkest night, Spafford continued to worship. Whether in peace or in sorrow, whatever his lot, his Lord assured him: through the cross & the eternal joy set before him, all, indeed, was well with his soul.
If you're ever in the throws of darkness, how will you respond? May we behold our hope in the Lord Jesus and, in the grip of His grace, worship.
I eagerly await worshipping with you this Sunday.
To the glory of Christ,