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Posts Tagged ‘Horatio Spafford’

“Sing.
Sing a song.
Sing out loud, sing out strong.
Sing of good things, not bad.
Sing of happy, not sad.
Sing.
Sing a song.
Make it simple to last your whole life long.
Don´t worry that it´s not good enough for anyone else to hear.
Just sing.”

So sang the Carpenters in the 1970’s … although my memory of it is from Sesame Street …

It is amazing how the singing of a song can make memorization so much easier. As one who is in the midst of memorizing one of the Psalms, I am thankful that it was put to music … I think I can, I think I can.

One of the beauties of memorizing scripture, poetry or lyrics through music is that it stays in your memory, and resurfaces at the most wonderful times.

Such has been the case for a particular hymn that I learned in my teens.

The hymn is more than a song, it is also evidence of the strength a person can attain with God as the rudder and anchor of their life.

Written by Horatio Spafford in 1873.

He, his wife Anna, and their four daughters had survived the great Chicago Fire. Horatio planned a trip to Europe for his family, and just days before they were to leave, he had to change his plans, send his wife and daughters on the ship without him.

While sailing to Europe the Spafford ship was hit by another, and sunk.

Days later, Horatio received the following in a telegram, from Anna, “Saved alone what shall I do?”

He boarded a ship, to meet up with his grieving wife.

As the ship was nearing the place where his four daughters died, he wrote the words to this hauntingly beautiful hymn.

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.

Refrain:
It is well, (it is well),
With my soul, (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.

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!

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life,
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.

But Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!
Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul.

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.

Although I have not suffered the kind of loss and suffering of Horatio and Anna Spafford, this song surfaces in my conscious whenever my heart plummets with the weight of the sorrows of life and living.

I am amazed when it does come to my mind,
as though placed there
like a tissue to wipe my falling tears,
or a shoulder to cry on,
or a string around my finger

to remind me …

that I am not alone
that peace is more about the condition of my soul than anything to do with world conflict
that no sin is unforgivable
that no earthly sorrow can separate me from my God
that the sky, not the grave, is my goal.

What is your song?

tranquility

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