It Is Well

Apr 6th 2009
by Laurie


In the late 1800′s, Horatio Spafford, a 43 year old lawyer from Chicago, had a wife & five children. In 1871, his only son died. A few months later, the Great Chicago Fire swept through his city, consuming his entire life savings & real estate investments. He was left with nothing except his family. Two years later, the Spafford family took a vacation to Europe, but Horatio was delayed by last minute business, so he sent his wife & 4 daughters on a ship and he would follow a few days after. En route to Europe, the ship was struck by another vessel, and it sank in under 20 minutes. 226 people died. Anna Spafford later cabled her husband “Saved alone.” Their four daughters died, but his wife survived. He immediately left Chicago to bring his wife home. It was after all this that he wrote the famous hymn “It Is Well.” Although this man experienced overwhelming loss, he continued on…

A few years later, Horatio & Anna Spafford moved to Jerusalem to meet the needs of many poor people, demonstrating God’s love to Muslim and Jewish communities, even after all they’d been through.

“…It is well with my soul,
It is well, it is well with my soul…”

This man’s tragedies would obviously affect the rest of his life, yet he continued to live selflessly, focusing on being a help to others in the midst of his own devestation. I’m not gonna lie, it takes some real stamina and perseverance to be able to continue living a normal life after that. I can’t even imagine.

 So this man’s intense story says a lot, a whole lot. Its funny how in the midst of many trials we can feel so alone, maybe even hopeless, and want to run from it all. The supposed easy way out is to run from it and bottle everything up inside which eventually turns into a ticking time bomb. Unfortunate circumstances come and go- it is a part of life- but when we push through it, we come out “victorious” on the other side. Life continues to move right along and God continues to stick right beside us, always watching us, always loving us, always inspiring us to keep movin’ on. He’s always there. 

If there’s one thing both you and I can take from this and be encouraged about, it is that in the midst of everything, God is always here. He is with you right now, this very second, just like He was with Horatio Spafford every step of the way. Whether your life is filled with good things or some not-so-good things right now, be encouraged. (I’m totally speaking to myself too, trust me!) You don’t ever have to go it alone. The Creator of the entire universe, the same Creator who formed you in your mother’s womb, is here.

If you need encouragement, just keep going! Don’t look back! Look straight ahead, not giving any second thoughts to what’s come and gone, because that’s already behind you. Surround yourself with people who will push you in the right direction. Even if it feels like there aren’t many of those people, there are. If you need someone but don’t quite know where to look, then for starters you have us. You have CATALYST. You have a group of people who support you and want to make a difference both in your life and in the lives of others.

Corrie Ten Boom (another intense story- she was a WWII Holocaust survivor) coined a phrase that has stuck with me since I was a little girl:

“There is no pit so deep that God’s love is not deeper still.”

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4 Responses

  1. Natalilly says:

    Wow Laurie…that is all I can say WOW! Well, I guess I can say this…
    Another amazing essay by an amazing young woman…I am proud to know you!
    Love ya,

  2. Natalilly says:

    BTW Great picture choice, goes perfectly with the topic!

  3. Deb Clough says:

    Laurie, you are an inspiration….great job! Two songs come to mind (I often think in songs LOL)
    Ok, so I already forgot the first one….but the second one is “Praise You in the Storm” by Casting Crowns….when I remember the first one I’ll come back!

  4. angel says:

    You are quite the writer! What a beautiful and powerful testimony of faith. Thank you for writing it and reminding all of us, it is indeed well with our soul. Thank you Father for your sustaining power expressed to us through your amazing love and grace!

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