As Easter approaches, it is time to give thought to the miracle of Faith, not so easily understood, but powerful when the brutality of life on Earth slaps us down.
One of my good friends ask all her Facebook pals to list their favorite Gospel songs for Easter. All the great songs were mentioned: How Great Thou Art, The Old Rugged , Amazing Grace, and other great classics.
I have so many Gospel songs I love, that it is hard to come up with a true "favorite". All Is Well With My Soul has to be the front runner. Let me tell you why.
With special thanks to Sharefaith and Biblestudycharts.com, this is the story:
Horatio Spafford (1828-1888) was a wealthy Chicago Lawyer with a thriving legal practice, a beautiful home, a wife, four daughters and a son. He was also a devout Christian and faithful student of the Scriptures. His circle of friends included Dwight L. Moody, Ira Sankey, and various other well-known Christians of the day.
At the very height of his financial and professional success, Horatio and his wife Anna suffered the tragic loss of their young son. Shortly thereafter, on October 8, 1871, the Great Chicago Fire destroyed almost every real estate investment that Spafford had.
In 1873, Spafford scheduled a boat trip to Europe in order to give his wife and daughters a much needed vacation and time to recover from the tragedy. He also was going to join Evangelists Moody an Sankey on an evangelistic campaign in England. Spafford sent his wife and daughters ahead of him while he remained in Chicago to take care of some unexpected last minute business.
Horatio's family boarded the French vessel 'Ville de Harve' and headed across the Atlantic. On November 2nd, 1873, the 'Ville de Harve' collided with "The Lochearn', an English vessel. The French vessel sank in only twelve minutes, claiming the lives of 226 people, including Annie, Maggie, Bessie and Tanetta, all four of Horatio's daughters. His wife Anna was found unconscious on a small floating plank of debris.
Nine days after the voyage began, Horatio received a telegram from his wife with only two words, "saved alone". Upon hearing the terrible news, Horatio Spafford boarded the next ship for England to join his survivor wife. On that sorrow filled voyage, the Captain of the ship called Horatio to the Bridge. "A careful reckoning has been made", he told Horatio, "we are now passing the place where the de Harve was wrecked. The water is three miles deep."
Horatio Spafford returned to his cabin and penned the lyrics of his great hymn. The miracle of Faith.
Phillip Bliss, composer of many songs, was so impressed with Spafford's life and the words of his hymn, that he composed a beautiful piece of music to accompany the lyrics. The song was published in 1876.
Here is a link to listen to this wonderful faith-filled song, featuring the incredible David Phelps. I hope you enjoy it.
It Is Well With My Soul
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.
Though Satan should buffet, through trials should come
Let the blest assurance control
That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
My sin, oh the bliss of this glorious thought
My sin, not in part but the whole
is nailed to His cross, and I bear it no more
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!
For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live
If Jordon above me shall roll
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.
And the 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.
As a bonus, for Easter, I'd like to share one more video, featuring two dynamic Christian artists, Sandi Patty and Larnelle Harris, in Lanny Wolf's amazing gospel song, More Than Wonderful. When I saw this concert, live back in 1983, it changed my life.
My God smile upon you and yours this Easter season. Whether you face good things or bad things at this very moment, know that the Peace of God passes all understanding. "Casting all your cares upon Him, as He cares for you."
Come quickly Lord Jesus!