September 11, 2021 Nate Lowe

It Is Well with My Soul

It Is Well with My Soul


Romans 8:28 “And we know that God works all things together for the good of those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose.”


Horatio Spafford was a lawyer and senior partner at his law firm in Chicago. On September 5, 1861, he married the love of his life, Anna Larsen. They had four daughters: Annie, Maggie, Bessie, and Tanetta. Not only was Horatio a successful lawyer and an elder of his church, but he was also a real estate investor. Over the years he had invested most of his wealth intodowntown Chicago. In 1871 tragedy struck. The Great Chicago Fire not only destroyed most of the city, but it also destroyed most of Horatio’s investments. Near financial ruin, Horatio and his wife decided to travel to England in support of their friend DL Moody. At the last minute, while still dealing with the effects of the fire, Horatio sent his family ahead to England with the plan of joining them later. Anna and their four girls boarded the French steamship, the Ville du Havre. While preparing to join his family, Horatio received a telegram from his wife that read, “Saved Alone.” Tragedy had struck once more. He would soon learn the Ville du Havre was struck by another ship killing 226 people including his four daughters. 


While Horatio was traveling across the Atlantic to be with his grieving wife, he crossed over the location where his daughters were lost. It was at this moment he penned the lyrics to “It Is Well with My Soul.”


After the unimaginable loss of all four of their daughters, Anna had 3 more children: Horatio, Bertha, and Grace. On February 11, 1880, a final tragedy would strike. At the age of three, their son, Horatio, died of scarlet fever. In 1881, Horatio and his family moved to Jerusalem. Horatio would spend the rest of his days ministering and sharing the love of Christ in and around Jerusalem.


In the midst of loss, it is so easy to lose hope. Our grief can consume us. As we come upon the 20th anniversary of 9-11, we are reminded how, in an instant, our lives can change forever. Tragedy and loss so easily fill us with fear and sadness. There is no amount of reasoning that can make sense or bring understanding. Hope is not found in reasoning. It certainly is not found in societal norms or personal opinions. True, lasting hope is only found in Jesus Christ. Jesus did not promise a life free from sadness. He never promised a life free from loss or tragedy.


Jesus, the One through Whom all things were created, came to this earth and while knowing no sin took our sins upon Himself so that for those who put their faith and trust in Him could be set free from hopelessness. He has promised us that there will be a day where, “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Revelation 21:4


No matter what you have lost or whom you have lost, no matter what you will lose or whom you will lose, look only to Jesus and it will be well with your soul.