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“H. G. Spafford was a businessman in Chicago. He was a dedicated Christian. [There were times in his life when the wisdom he followed was earthly, unspiritual, and subject to the enemy’s schemes]. He had some serious financial reversals, and during the time of readjustment, he lost his home.”

He realized his family needed to get away for a vacation. Spafford decided to take his entire family to England. He sent his wife and four daughters ahead . . . In midocean the French steamer carrying his loved ones collided with another and sank within twelve minutes; 230 people lost their lives. The four daughters were drowned, but Mrs. Spafford was rescued. She wired her husband, “Saved alone.”

“Mr. Spafford was [understandably] almost overcome with grief. He had lost his property, his four precious daughters were buried beneath the dark waves of the sea, and his wife was prostrate with grief on the other side of the world. [Spafford could have relied on earthly wisdom and turned his grief into bitterness. He could have tried to get his pound of flesh from the French steamer company by filing lawsuits. He could have justified in his own mind being angry with God and the world, and shaking his fist at the One who allowed his earthly life to seemingly be destroyed]. Instead, he put all his trust in God and wrote a song that has comforted thousands since that time”:

“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’” (Hughes, p. 304).

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