Halfway across the Atlantic on their voyage, an English vessel struck their ship, and it went down in less than 15 minutes. Spafford’s wife survived, incredibly, but the four daughters – Annie, Bessie, Maggie and Tanetta — did not.
H.G. Spafford immediately boarded a ship to join his devastated wife in Whales.
As he sailed, he spent many difficult hours on the deck of that ship grieving over his great loss. It is said that when the ship came to the approximate place where the girls went down, Spafford felt a rare comfort and peace. A daughter who would be born later, Bertha Spafford-Vesser, said that it was on that journey that her father wrote his greatest hymn.
Somewhere during that heartbreaking voyage, Spafford retired from the deck to his chamber and sat down tearfully to pen the great words to this great poem.
“When peace like a river, attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea-billows roll, Whatever my lot, Thou haste me to say, “It is well, it is well with my soul”
Can we turn to the scriptures and find out how one can have that inner peace in one’s life? Let’s go first to Rom. 15:33 “Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.”
2 Cor. 13:11 “Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.”
Col. 3:15 “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.”
Don’t you want to be in that one body where this peace is?
There is a great lesson that can be learned from these scriptures. Did you notice that the apostle Paul wrote these epistles to Christians? First to the church of Rome (Rom. 1:7), church in Corinth (1 Cor. 1:1-2) and the church in Colossae (Col. 1:1-2).