It is Well.


Sometimes I go through periods where my heart aches for the people and places I no longer have. Sometimes it's just a desire to share those whom raised me with my family - my husband and sons. Sometimes it the longing to call and talk to that one person who understood me like no other.

Then I remember a line from an old hymn that I love, It is well with my soul, and speak it like a prayer. Written by a grieving father in the late 1800s; he lost an infant son, experienced considerable financial loss in the Great Chicago Fire and then tragedy struck once more. He putt his wife and 4 daughters on a ship to England with the intention to follow soon after for a holiday, he received a telegram from his wife reading, "Saved Alone." The ship had collided with another and sunk in only minutes, only his wife survived. Horatio G. Spafford boarded the first ship he could to join his wife to mourn their loss. As his ship passed near spot where his family was lost, the Captain informed him of where they were. He was moved to write a hymn...
When peace like a river attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea-billows roll,
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to know,

"It is well, it is well with my soul."
I know so many respond to loss with anger - even bitterness, indeed I have too, as I moved through the stages of grief; but that can only last so long before it becomes destructive. I can not stay in a the place of anger. I have to trust that it is well with my soul. Only then do I move forward.
I think of this man's strength to go on in the face of such great loss. My loss can not be compared to the next person. It is mine, it is personal, it is great for me. I can not judge another person's loss as being too great or small, it belongs to them. I only know that God is greater than all this and has given me the strength I need to wake up another morning.


After I drafted this, I found this post. Heather is going through a loss that I can't even imagine and yet she writes with such strength and peace. Please take a moment to lift this family in prayer this week, especially as we approach Mother's Day.

8 comments:

Daryl said...

I wish I had words ...

:-Daryl

We are THAT Family said...

I love that song too. Did you know the composer wrote that after his wife and children died? Amazing Grace.

Kathryn said...

Beautiful post. Just gorgeous. I will use that phrase often I'm sure.

And thank you for the link so that I too could pray for Heather and her family.

Merrie said...

I remember learning that story years ago at Bible Study Fellowship, but reading it again I felt the heartbreak all over again. Thank you for sharing it.

Lovely blog. :)

Christina said...

What a beautiful, poignant post! "It is well with my soul"...profound.

natalie said...

Wow. What a reminder! "It is well" is one of my favorite songs; I needed that reminder.

I tagged you.

david mcmahon said...

You've said it all. So very eloquently.

lime said...

this has always been one of my favorite hymns and for the reasons you've shared. the story behind it is truly humbling.

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