CAROLYN’S DAILY POSTS: 2011
FLIGHT OF VALOR & IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL
The song commissioned by the Somerset County Community Band, Flight of Valor, was written around the hymn It Is Well With My Soul, written by a Chicago lawyer, Horatio G. Spafford. Written following a series of life tragedies, he based the lyrics on 2 Kings 4:26.
Horation had an idyllic life until 1870, when his Spaffords’ only son died from scarlet fever at the age of four. A year later the great Chicago Fire wiped out his entire real estate investments, located on the shores of Lake Michigan.
Because of the toll these disasters took on his family Horatio decided to take his wife and four daughters on a holiday to England. While there, he could help D. L. Moody on his evangelistic campaign in Britain.
However, just before their ship set sail last minute business caused Horatio to remain behind while his family set sail. He planned to sail later and meet them overseas.
Nine days later Horatio received a telegram from his wife, who was in Wales. It read:
On November 2nd 1873, her ship ‘Ville de Havre’ had collided with ‘The Lochearn’, an English vessel. It took only twelve minutes to sink and claim 226 lives. Anna Spafford had stood bravely on the deck, with her daughters Annie, Maggie, Bessie and Tanetta clinging desperately to her. Her last memory was of her baby being torn violently from her arms by the force of the waters. Anna was saved by a plank which floated beneath her unconscious body and propped her up.
When Horatio heard the news he boarded the next ship out of New York to join his bereaved
wife. Bertha Spafford (the fifth daughter of Horatio and Anna born later) explained that during her father’s voyage, the captain of the ship had called him to the bridge.
“A careful reckoning has been made”, he said, “and I believe we are now passing the place where the de Havre was wrecked. The water is three miles deep.”
Horatio returned to his cabin and penned the lyrics of It Is Well With My Soul:
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.
Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul!
It is well … with my soul!
It is well, it is well, with my soul.