It Is Well With my Soul: The Story Behind the Song



“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.”

God is using these words penned by Horatio Spafford one hundred and forty-three years ago to soothe my aching soul.  Unable to sleep, I research the story behind this song. This song has become my anthem of peace during a personal st

Out of great personal loss, Horatio Spafford, penned the hymn, “It Is Well With my Soul.”

Horatio Spafford born in Troy, NY in 1828 became a successful Chicago lawyer. Spafford had an eye for business and purchased several real estate properties in downtown Chicago.

Between the years 1870-1873, Spafford suffered tremendous loss.  In 1870 the Horatio and Anna Spafford’s only son died from scarlet fever. A year later, the Great Fire of Chicago destroyed the Spafford’s rental property.

In an effort to escape recent tragedy, Horatio and Anna planned a European vacation. Spafford sent his wife and their four daughters ahead of him aboard the S.S. Ville Du Havre, while he wrapped up business in Chicago.

On November 22, 1873 Spafford suffered his greatest loss. Anna Spafford delivered a telegram with these words “Saved Alone.” The S.S. Ville Du Havre struck another ship and sank within twelve minutes. Spafford’s four daughters ages 2, 7, 9, and 11 died in a trans-Atlantic shipwreck.

Horatio Spafford penned “It Is Well With my Soul” as a response to his personal agony.

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.[chorus]

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. [chorus]

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! [chorus]

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. [chorus]


It is well with my soul photo Pixabay

“Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say, It is well, it is well, with my soul.”

To learn more about this hymn visit http://www.spaffordhymn.com/.

~April Dawn White

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