One of the best-loved hymns of the faith, “It Is Well with My Soul,” was written by Horatio Spafford. Mr. Spafford, a wealthy businessman in Chicago, lost much of his real estate holdings in the Great Chicago Fire. After the fire, he sent his wife and four daughters on a ship to Europe, intending to join them later, for a time of rest as well as to assist Moody and Sankey with a revival in Great Britain. But the voyage was struck by disaster, and Spafford received a cable from his wife with the painful message, “Saved alone.”
Spafford quickly made arrangements to join his wife. When they reached the spot where his daughters had drowned, Spafford marked that sad event with words of hope: “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.’”
These powerful words written in the midst of such pain are a reminder to us today that, even though we may be enduring great suffering and hardship, it is not the end of God’s plan for us. Sometimes God’s children get discouraged because it appears that life is going better for those who are doing wrong. Yet the end result of both paths is already settled. Those who fear God will be able to say, “It is well.” Those who oppose God will quickly find that the end of their path is death and destruction. Keeping the end result in mind helps us keep doing right.