Storms are inevitable. They buffet us day and night in different forms. They are the forces of nature around us or the forces of our own unchecked natures. They can be external or internal, physical or spiritual. Sometimes, they show up as disagreements between lovers and friends or they strike suddenly in the form of personal tragedies.
I think about Horatio G. Spafford who experienced one tragic storm after another: losing his young son to pneumonia, much of his property to the Great Chicago Fire, and his four daughters to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.
This was a man who could see no other viable option but to go through each of those storms as they came, with unflinching faith in the goodness of his God. As he stood on the deck of the vessel carrying him to England to join his wife, he looked out on the smooth, glassy water where the ship transporting his family had sunk, and he could say, no matter what, that his soul was okay.
Spafford’s story is one of many, but few come through with the kind of spirit and heart this man displayed. Roughly 145 years ago, while on his trip to England to reunite with his wife, Mr. Spafford wrote the lyrics to the famous hymn, “It is Well with My Soul.” It is a song that breathes comfort, hope, and a trust that refuses to question the fairness of the Divine One.
We still sing his song, today. The words of his timeless lyrics were not merely written. They were forged through his fiery trials and have lasted and endured to remind us that even though we do not choose the storms, it can, indeed, be well with our souls.