Origin of the Hymn “It Is Well With My Soul”

Written by on February 6, 2022

Attorney Horatio Spafford and his wife, Anna, had a wonderful family of four daughters. Tragically, the great Chicago fire destroyed most of his business in 1871. Then, two years later, his wife and daughters were aboard the ocean liner Ville du Havre when it was struck by another vessel. All four daughters drowned.

His wife survived and nine days later was able to contact her husband by telegraph with this question: “Saved alone—what shall I do?”

Spafford took the next available ship to join his wife. During the passage, the captain of the ship notified Spafford they were crossing the place where the Ville du Havre had sunk. After those moments of reflection and over the course of the rest of the journey, Spafford penned the words of this beloved hymn.

May God teach us that “whatever our lot” we can still say, “It is well.”

In all three of these stories, a circumstance of life confronts the child of God. And, in all three, God’s grace enables his child to trust the heart of the Father.

Life will confront us too. The songs we sing in the darkest of midnight will be the very songs that show the world the unwavering faithfulness of our Father who loves us so much.

The darker it gets, the more we should sing.

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