The Story Behind It Is Well With My Soul


Many folks have heard and sung the classic hymn by Horatio Spafford, It Is Well With My Soul.  But I would imagine few people know the tragic yet heartwarming story that inspired Spafford to write it.
Spafford was a successful Chicago attorney with profitable investments in Chicago real estate.  On October 8, 1871 the Chicago fire ripped through the city and destroyed nearly all Spafford’s real estate investments.

Two years later Spafford decided he and his family deserved a family vacation. They chose London as their destination. Spafford’s good friend Dwight L. Moody was scheduled to preach there that fall, so the trip would be a special one for Spafford and his family.

You, my faithful readers, selected “The Story Behind It Is Well With My Soul” as one of my most popular posts.  I first published this post in March, 2011.

Business delayed his departure, but he sent his wife and their four daughters, 11, nine, five and two ahead on the steamship, the Villa Du Havre. On November 22, 1873 an iron sailing vessel crashed into the steamship. In the mishap 226 people lost their lives.

When his wife, Anna, reached the European shore she sent a telegram to Spafford with only two words: Saved Alone.

Spafford sailed to Europe to be with his wife. He took the same route across the sea as the Villa Du Havre. Spafford asked the ship’s captain to tell him when they crossed the spot at sea where his four daughters perished.  Spafford waited by the railing.  When the captain informed Spafford they were crossing his daughters’ watery graves, Spafford penned the words to his beloved hymn, It Is Well With My Soul.

Lyrics follow the video.

Enjoy.


When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul. 

It is well, with my soul,
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 has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with 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!

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with 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.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

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7 thoughts on “The Story Behind It Is Well With My Soul

  1. Thank you so much for sharing this storry with me about stafford and ann . It can only take the grace of god to say it is well with my soul . I though i was going through storms but i just realised this is nothing. Praise god.

  2. Awesome! Thanks so much, Steven for sharing this and thanks for the ‘Follow’ at LightWriters (5wise.wordpress.com). I’m following your blog also and looking forward to reading more!

    • Susan, thanks for following my blog. I’m grateful that God spoke to through the post about It Is Well. I was awed by that story when I first read it. Thanks for dropping my. I’ll be posting again tomorrow (Monday) and several more times during the week. Thanks again and my God richly bless you.

  3. Pingback: Archives #2: The Story Behind It Is Well With My Soul | Best Way to Promote Your Blog | BlogHyped

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