I was recently thinking of “my friend” at the cemetery. I have still seen him regularly, though there have been days he has missed, or perhaps, just altered his time. For some reason I think of this song in my thoughts of him lately: “It is Well with My Soul.” In preparing this blog, I googled the title and learned something interesting about the resilience of one unknown man faced with the greatest of tragedies.
According to Wikipedia, “It is Well with My Soul” was written by Horatio Spafford in the late 1800’s after several shocking events. His son died at age four which was then followed by a financial loss in the family due to the Great Chicago Fire in 1871. Sending his wife and all four of his daughters ahead on a ship to Europe for a trip while he finished dealing with financial issues, he received a telegram from his wife saying, “Saved alone,” as she was the lone survivor in his family after an Atlantic collision that sunk his family’s ship. It was soon after this event that he wrote the song. One cannot even begin to imagine the great pain that must have been in his heart.
¶ Verse 1 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. ¶ Refrain It is well, with my soul, It is well, with my soul, It is well, it is well, with my soul. ¶ Verse 2 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. (Repeat refrain) ¶ Verse 3 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! (Repeat refrain) ¶ Verse 4 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. (Repeat refrain)
What have I learned from this research? The human spirit, with God’s grace, can rise above the most awful of circumstances dealt upon a person. It is not easy. It is not desirable. It is downright hell on earth many, many times. But the human spirit can rise again. At least that is my hope…
And it is because I can hear my Grandpa singing this song in my head, that I have chosen to show his picture. He was one of the closest people to God that I have ever known. And I miss him.