Many people don’t know the story behind Horatio Spafford’s “It Is Well”. I, myself, didn’t know the full story.
Spafford was a successful lawyer in Chicago, who was ruined financially when the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 destroyed a Lake Michigan real estate investment. Before the fire, he also lost a son. Two years later, Spafford’s family planned an ocean voyage to Europe for some rest and for Spafford to assist in an evangelistic campaign in Great Britain. On the day they were meant to depart, Spafford needed to stay behind in Chicago for a business transaction. But he sent his wife and four daughters ahead. Sadly, while crossing the Atlantic, all of his daughters perished in a collision with another ship. Upon arrival in Europe, Spafford’s wife sent a telegram with the words: “Saved alone.” Weeks later Spafford was inspired to write the words to “It Is Well” as his own ship passed near the spot where his daughters died.
Please scroll down to yesterday’s post and reread the lyrics with this story in mind. I cannot sing this song without feeling some depth of this man’s sorrow and feeling shame for so often putting my own sorrows and trials above my blessed assurance.
Whatever my lot…