Music – My Favorite Hymn – It Is Well With My Soul
According to Ryan Goodwin, he coded from Martin Luther saying : ” Martin Luther once said of music, “I have always loved music. . . Music is a fair gift of God, and near allied to divinity. I would not for a great matter be destitute of the small skill in music which I have. Whoso condemneth music, as all seducers do, with them I am not content; next to Theologia, I give the place and highest honour to Musica. For thereby all anger is forgotten; the devil is driven away; unchastity, pride, and other blasphemies by music are expelled.”
As Ryan puts it well saying: ” It is, indeed, a great gift from God to come before Him in song and poem, to express in melodies deeper than human words the anguish of loss, the peace of prayer, and the joy of salvation.” What an awesome statement indeed!
Many of great works of all time birthed from life’s worst storms. What does that mean? It means the most difficult moment of one’s life. Have you ever been caught in the center of a massive storm? According to Dictionary.com, the center of a cyclonic storm is the area of the lowest pressure and of comparative calm. How can one imagine that at the center of a storm exists the lowest pressure and that calmness?
Well, today’s story tells of a great man of God who wrote a great song in the midst of his life’s worst storm. How could one experience that peace he had when he wrote that song? Could he be in the center of his life storm, when he finally penned this song: It is well with my soul? A peace truly beyond all human understanding..
Here is the story of a Presbyterian lawyer Horatio G. Spafford (1828-1888)
Chicago Fire and a Son’s Loss
Sometime in 1871, a fire in Chicago heavily devastated the city, and months before that , Spafford had invested hugely in real estate by the shore of Lake Michigan. The disaster greatly wiped out his holdings. Before the fire, Spafford also experienced the loss of his son.
Calm Before Spafford’s Worst Life Storm
Two years after the fire, Horatio Spafford planned a trip to Europe for him and his family. He wanted a rest for his wife and four daughters, and to help Moody and Sankey in one of their evangelistic campaigns in Great Britain. He was not meant to travel with his family. The day in November they were due to leave, Spafford had a last-minute business transaction and had to stay behind in Chicago. Nevertheless, he still sent his wife and four daughters to travel as scheduled on the S.S. Ville du Havre, expecting to follow in a few days. On November 22, the ship laden with his wife and daughters hit Lockhearn, an English vessel, and sank in few minutes.
Spafford’s Wife “Saved Alone”
After the survivors were finally landed somewhere at Cardiff, Wales, Spafford’s wife cabled her husband with two simple words, “Saved alone.” Shortly after, Spafford left by ship on his way where his beloved four daughters had drowned, and pen at hand, wrote this most poignant text so definitely descriptive of his own personal grief – “When sorrows like sea billows roll...” The hymn “It is Well with My Soul” was born. Truly, the song “It is well in my soul” became one of the most well-known hymns in our time. The Bible says in John 14:27
” Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your heart be troubled and do not be afraid. ”
With God we can experience peace even in the midst of our worst life storm. Just like Spafford wrote “it is well with my soul”.