If you love the classic hymns, you probably already know the story of Horatio Spafford and the tragedy that led him to write It Is Well with My Soul. Such grief, but also such peace -- the peace that can only be found in Christ.
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid" (John 14:27).Those were some of Christ's last words to His disciples. He knew the grief they would endure when He was gone, and He knew His followers for every generation to follow would experience grief. Some experience more grief than others, but death is something we all come against at some point in our lives, whether it be the death of a loved one or our own.
I have seen firsthand what it is like for someone to face death without the peace of Christ. Not only is it agonizing for that individual, but it is so hard for that person's loved ones to witness this struggle of the soul. It doesn't have to be that way.
"I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy" (John 16: 20-22).
Peace rooted in eternity. It is well.
It Is Well with My Soul (When Peace Like a River)
Horatio G. Spafford, 1873
When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say,
"It is well, 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 has shed his own blood for my soul.
My sin -- O 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!
O Lord, haste the day when the 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.