Peace Like A River
Horatio Spafford was a successful attorney in Chicago, active in church, and blessed with a
wife and four daughters. A series of calamities began when the great Chicago fire of 1871
wiped out his families extensive real estate investments. Even through the tough times
Spafford held firm to his belief and faith in God.

Spafford was a friend and supporter of the great evangelist D.L. Moody. When Moody was
beginning a campaign in Great Britain; Spafford planned to join them to assist. Seeing this as
a wonderful opportunity for the whole family, passage was booked on the S.S. Ville du Harve
in November of 1873.

Before they could leave, he was detained by urgent business. The family was sent ahead and
he planned to join them as soon as possible. The ship, carrying his wife and daughters was
struck by an English vessel and sank in twelve minutes -- 226 drowned. His four daughters
were among the victims; only his wife miraculously survived.

On his way to meet his bereaved wife, he stood on the deck of his ship. When they reached
the approximate sight of the shipwreck, feeling God's presence and peace he and wrote these
words. "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 with my soul."

How can one write, "It is well with my soul", when tragedy has just struck? Only through God.
Only God can make us well with our soul in the midst of tragedy and turmoil. Horatio Spafford
could not have written those words if his desires, hopes and dreams were solely wrapped up
in this earth.

The problem for most of us lies in our humanity desiring the things of this earth.  Earth is
temporal.  Heaven is not.  Nor, will we be able to rise above whatever happens around us until
we can say with the psalmist "Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth
that I desire besides You." Psalm 73:25 (NKJV)

Peace is found through a soul perspective. It is looking beyond today to the forever. If God is
our focus, our direction, and our love, there is nothing on earth that can shake, or remove that
stability. Be obsessed by God and love Him with your mind, your heart and your soul.

Jesus asked Peter -- "Do you love Me?" The question is open for each of us, will we love Him
more than anything else in this world ~ more than possessions, family and friends?  Will we let
the Lord become our magnificent obsession where through Him we will find the overflowing of
hope, joy and peace. For through Him and in Him we will find that it is well with our soul.
There is no better way and there is no other way.

I have seen, touched and felt God's peace through storms, trials and the pain of life. I have
seen death take my friend, yet there was victory in the Lord. I have watched others in
impossible situations have the peace that passes understanding. I do not stand alone, the
pages of the Bible are filled with hope, and from cover to cover there is hope for humanity and
hope for us all.

Through Him it is available, the hope without earthly bounds and peace beyond earthly
comprehension. There is victory in serving and loving Him, victory here on earth and victory
that lies beyond this world. Take His hand, take it firmly and do not glance aside.

It is well with my soul because "In peace I will both lie down and sleep, For You alone, O Lord,
make me to dwell in safety." Psalm 4:8 (NAS)

It is well with my soul because ...  "God the Father and Jesus Christ His Son will give you
grace, mercy and peace." 2 John 1:3 (NIV)

It is well with my soul even when the doors seem locked because ... "Jesus came, the doors
being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, 'Peace to you!'" John 20:26 (NKJV)

It is well with my soul because  ,,, "The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of
righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever." Isaiah 32:17(NIV)

It is well with my soul because ... "You, Lord, give true peace to those who depend on you,
because they trust you."  Isaiah 26:3 (NCV)

It is well with my soul because I make the choice to ... "seek peace and pursue it." Psalm 34:14

It is well with my soul because ... "The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to
it and are safe." Proverbs 18:10 (NKJV)

It is well with my soul because Jesus promises "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me
you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the
world." John 16:33 (NAS)
© 2005,  Lisa Brewer Buffaloe
Posted here with author's permission.
Please be kind enough to read our Copyright Notice prior to
copying any poems from this website.


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