I have to give credit for this entry to one of our songleaders @ Rosemark, Chris Jones.
Thank you Chris for the insight on this wonderful hymn. It gives it a whole new meaning for me.
This hymn was written after two major traumas in Spafford’s life. The first was the great Chicago Fire of October 1871, which ruined him financially (he had been a wealthy businessman). Shortly after, while crossing the Atlantic, all four of Spafford’s daughters died in a collision with another ship. Spafford’s wife Anna survived and sent him the now famous telegram, “Saved alone.” Several weeks later, as Spafford’s own ship passed near the spot where his daughters died, these inspired words were written. They speak to the eternal hope that all believers have, no matter what pain and grief befall them on earth.
Now that you know the events that inspired the hymn we've sung all our lives...read the words...
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.
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!
For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:If Jordan above me shall roll,No pang shall be mine, for in death as in lifeThou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.
But, Lord, ‘tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,The sky, not the grave, is our goal;Oh trump of the angel! Oh voice of the Lord!Blessèd hope, blessèd rest of 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.