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· Jesus said:
· "I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Matthew 28:20.
· "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and make Our abode with him." John 14:23.
Horacio Spafford had a close relationship with God.
But things started to happen to him when he was 43 years old.
On October 9th of 1871, the Great Chicago Fire started.
According to legend, a Mrs. O’Leary’s cow
kicked over a lantern in a barn to start the fire.
16 hours later, 3 and 1/2 square miles of Chicago
were burned to the ground.
Spafford’s holdings were wiped out by this disaster.
The Spaffords had a consistent history of acting on their faith.
After the Chicago fire,
they devoted countless hours to helping the survivors.
In November of 1873, Horatio Spafford planned a trip to Europe
to hear Moody preaching his revivals.
As winter began to chill their Chicago home,
Horatio, his wife Anna,
and their four young daughters, 11 year old Annie,
9 year old Maggie,
7 year old Bessie,
and 2 year old Tanetta,
began to anticipate the sea voyage.
When the time for the trip drew close,
Spafford’s business encountered some difficulties
that required him to remain at home.
Determined not to deprive his family of the anticipated trip,
he kissed his wife and daughters good-bye,
and promised to join them as soon as possible.
The Spafford women boared the French steamer, Ville de havre,
and began their trans-Atlantic journey.
Off the coast of Newfoundland, however, tragedy struck.
On November 22, The ship collided
with an English ship, the Loch Earn,
ripping a gaping hole in the ship’s hull.
The Ville de Havre plunged to the bottom of the frigid sea
within 12 minutes.
In the moments before the ship sank,
Anna Spafford gathered her 4 young girls to her side
and prayed with them,
holding the youngest...Tanetta... in her arms.
As the icy waters of the North Atlantic swept over the decks,
the 3 older children disappeared.
Eventually even the baby was washed from her mother’s arms.
Anna, was able to cling to a piece of floating wreckage.
Alone and near death herself,
Anna was spotted from a lifeboat and plucked from the sea.
She was among the 47 who survived.
226 lost their lives.
It was 10 days before the survivors of the shipwreck...
landed safely in Cardiff, Wales.
From there Anna Spafford sent a telegram to her anxious husband
It was a brief and distressing message:
Boarding the next available ship out of New York,
Horatio sailed to Cardiff, Wales,
where he was reunited with his grieving wife.
In the mid-Atlantic ocean,
the ship’s captain called Spafford to the bridge and said,
"To the best of my calculations, Mr. Spafford,
this is where the tragedy occurred
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