A prosperous lawyer invested a sizable amount of his hard earned money in real estate in the growing city of Chicago, then lost most of it in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. Despite their loss, the man and his wife spend countless hours assisting the survivors of the tragedy. Two years later, his wife and four young daughters venture across the ocean on a trip to Europe. While the husband is delayed in Chicago by business, their ship collides with another killing all four of the young girls. The devastated wife sends a telegram to her husband: “Saved alone. What shall I do?”
The grieving husband and father immediately crossed the Atlantic to bring his wife home. 141 years ago this month, as he crossed over the same area his beautiful daughters perished, Horatio G. Spafford penned the lyrics to the hymn “It is Well with My Soul”. Here are the first two verses:
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.
Refrain: 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 hath regarded my helpless estate, And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
Can you imagine the pain Horatio and his wife endured, losing all their girls? I cannot even fathom it. Yet, he persevered, knowing all was well in his soul based in his love and faith in Christ.
As we come to a close this week of our Fall Wellness Journey together, it is my prayer your soul is well. I pray that even though “trials should come”, your faith is grounded in Christ alone to be able to say with Horatio, “it is well with my soul”.
An amazing contemporary version of this song by Amy Grant is a rift on Horatio’s hymn. If you are feeling overwhelmed by life, hurting physically or emotionally, know God is with you. His peace can conquer anything you are going through. As Amy states it, “keep on rolling until the love we need washes over you and me.” The love we need is Jesus. Let His love wash over you and understand as grieving Horatio did that it is well.
As mentioned in Wednesday’s post, I believe true wellness begins in our soul. We cannot truly be well if we are not well in our soul. If you are searching for wellness, start with finding peace in your soul. If you aren’t sure where to start, read the Gospel of John, specifically John 3:16:
16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (ESV)
When you fully rest in the truth of this verse, your soul is well. Nothing this life throws at us can change what Christ has already done. Our souls are truly well through Jesus’ shed blood and saving grace. With that perspective first, the rest of life pales in comparison.
Only we can choose what to give importance to in our lives. What impacts your happiness and wellness is up to you. Horatio understood this. It is how he could believe and write those words amid his grief. It is how people living in pain or even dying are still well. They know what is most important-their soul wellness.
Dear friends, this life can be hard. I often make it more difficult by allowing worldly things more significance than they need or deserve. In reality, the only thing that matters is knowing it is well with my soul. All the rest comes after.
Nurture your soul today. Spend a few moments today and everyday creating soul wellness by connecting with God in prayer, reading your Bible and worshiping Him. When you start with soul wellness, all the rest will follow. Let your heart and soul sing along with Horatio knowing “it is well with your soul”.