“It Is Well with My Soul” is a very influential hymn penned by hymnist Horatio Spafford and composed by Philip Bliss. This hymn was written after several traumatic events in Spafford’s life. The first was the death of his only son in 1871 at the age of four, shortly followed by the great Chicago Fire that ruined him financially (he had been a successful lawyer). Then in 1873, he had planned to travel to Europe with his family on the SS Ville du Havre but sent the family ahead while he was delayed on business concerning zoning problems following the Great Chicago Fire. While crossing the Atlantic, the ship sank rapidly after a collision with a sailing ship, the Loch Earn, and all four of Spafford’s daughters died. His wife Anna survived and sent him the now famous telegram, “Saved alone.” Shortly afterwards, as Spafford traveled to meet his grieving wife, he was inspired to write these words as his ship passed near where his daughters had died.
There is a story found in 2Kings chapter 4 that I love to read. It tells of a great lady who helped an old prophet. She wasn’t expecting anything in return, just showing kindness to a good man. She fed him whenever he came by her house and had her husband to build him a special room on their wall so that he could, at anytime, go in and take rest there. He felt compassion for her and knowing that she didn’t have a child told her that she would have a son. Time went on and the boy was born. She was so very happy. One day the boy was out in the field with his dad working and had sunstroke, he came in to his mother holding his head and crying, he died in her arms. This great woman laid the child on the Prophet’s bed and without even telling his dad that the boy had died she took a mule and went off to find the Prophet. She was a mother with a mission. The Prophet, Elisha, saw her coming and sent his servant out to find out what was wrong. He asked her if it was well with her husband, her son…she answered him…It is well.
Here was a broken-hearted woman, her son was lying dead but in spite of that she still answered, It is well! When she reached Elisha she fell in front of him, held onto his feet, she was not going to leave and go home until he went with her. She had faith that if this man of God, the man who had foretold his birth, would go to her son; he would be raised from the dead. The Prophet went and the end of the story is that the boy was raised from the dead…he was alive and well…her faith was answered. I think of myself and how many prayers that God has answered for me. Am I grateful enough? Do I thank Him enough? When trouble comes around how do I react? Am I one that gets hysterical and says “Where is God in this?” Am I one that complains to other people that God has turned His back on me, or let me down? Or can I, like this heartbroken mother, say to one and all IT IS WELL! Whether you are facing sickness, death, financial crisis or relationship problems, let me recommend facing the world with a brave “It is well”…and then thank God for all the things He has already done for you…your faith will be answered just as surely as the Shunammite woman’s son was raised from the dead. In Luke 18:1 Jesus says, “Men ought always to pray and not lose heart.”
Think of your blessings today and thank God for them before you ask Him for one more thing…be thankful and bless His name for the Lord is good, His mercy is everlasting and His truth endures to all generations!
Remember when you feel like you are in Hell, you can pray and still know that IT IS WELL!