Tuesday, January 4, 2011
It Is Well With My Soul
This morning I was walking around my clean house,
I had my cup of coffee and I was going to go sit in my chair
by my window and have my appointment with God. I caught
myself and I was humming that song by Horatio Spafford
It Is Well With My Soul. I love that song and in times
of great trial I have found that if I can sing it, it gives me
such deep comfort deep in my heart.
I was thinking of the first time I heard the story of how
that song was written and how sitting on the front row
at my Bible Study, tears poured down my cheeks. I was a
young mother and a new believer and never had I been so moved
by someone who could loose all four children and still be able to say
It is well with my soul. So this morning I picked up a devotional I wanted
to start for this year and imagine to my delighted eyes what was the first
This is called Whatever My Lot, by Elisabeth Elliot from her
book called " Secure in the Everlasting Arms." I am typing out
the whole of it as it is so good.
" Just after the Arab-Israeli war in 1967, I spent ten weeks in Jerusalem.
One afternoon I was invited to have tea with Mrs Bertha Spafford Vester,
who had lived there all of her ninety-one years. A fascinating woman, she was
the fifth daughter of Horatio Spafford, who wrote the song, " It is Well with My Soul."
The story of that beautiful hymn is familiar to many, but Mrs. Vester added details that
were new to me.
The great Chicago fire of the 1870s caused Spafford, a wealthy businessman, to take stock
of his life. Wanting to know Jesus better, He decided to sell everything and move to
the land where He had walked. Shortly before the ship sailed, he was delayed by
business, but took the family to New York. For some reason that he was unable to explain
he had the purser change their cabin, moving them closer to the bow. He returned
to Chicago to finish his business. Then came a telegram; SAVED ALONE. The ship
had sunk. Mrs Spafford had survived. Their four daughters had perished. Had they been
in the cabin originally reserved amidships, all five would have drowned, for it was just there
that the steamer had been struck by another vessel.
"As we sipped tea and munched on Arab sweets, Mrs. Vester, who had not been born
until after the disaster, told me how her mother had described that terrible black night
when she and her four little girls were flung into the cold sea. Frantically, she had tried
to save them. Barely, she had been able to touch with her fingertips the hem of the little
gown of one, but could not grasp it. She herself had been miraculously rescued as she floated unconscious on a piece of flotsam.
During Mr. Spafford's voyage to join his wife in France, the captain summoned him one day to the bridge pointing to the charts he explained that it was just here, where they were at
that moment, that the other ship had gone down. Spafford returned to his cabin and wrote
the hymn, which has comforted countless thousands."
When peace like a river attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea-billows roll,
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
"It is well, it is well with my soul."
( pg. 17-19)
When I read that I am always comforted in that God gave
that family another baby. One of the things I also find comforting
that out of this mans deep sorrow and pain he wrote words
that bring comfort when I am able to get to that point of relinquishing
all that I might be holding on in my hands. I love the word
relinquish, because in it I find peace and rest. It is only then
I may go to God and say to Him with my whole heart,
"Not my will, Lord but Thine.
I was just into my 20s when I heard this story. At that
time of life, I had not walked the paths I have walked now.
God has had many, many gifts to give me thus far. I know
that inside any trial if I look deep enough, quietly like this flower,
I will find joy.
The words I can sing today is,
" It is well with my soul."
One more other aside, I read everything Grace Livingston Hill wrote
when I was young. She was related to Horatio Spafford. I just thought
I would share that today. I was singing that song, and the cat begged
to go outside in the cold. :) I thought I would let you know that too.
Oh and the dog got under the bed.
Thanks for coming by today,