It Is Well With My Soul: How Can It Be Well?

It Is Well With My Soul

Picture this.

Your four year old son dies. Shortly after, a fire happens in your city that ruins you financially as your real estate burns. You somehow keep going, and you make a plan to go to England with your family to help out D.L. Moody with his missionary efforts there. You are delayed with business based on the fire, so you send your wife and daughters over ahead of you… and the ship sinks with your wife as the only survivor. You are dealing with overwhelming loss. How can you say it is “well with your soul”?

This all happened in the matter of a few years to a lawyer and Presbyterian elder named Horatio Spafford. As he passed over the place where the SS Ville du Havre, the ship with his daughters and wife, sank, he penned the words of the hymn. Philip Bliss wrote the tune and called it Ville du Havre.

I first heard this hymn through my college’s chapter of Intervarsity more than 20 years ago. It became a favorite of mine then, and it became my favorite hymn as I battled depression and various types of adversity in my life. It was the lullaby I sang to my son Daniel in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) when my PTSD and postpartum depression lifted enough that I could sing again. When Daniel almost died from a mysterious respiratory virus that landed him on a ventilator a few years later, I sang it to him through tears in the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU). It remained something I sang to him at bedtime when I was the one trying to get him to sleep as he got older. The hymn reminds me that I will be OK, no matter what life throws at me.

This devotional book is structured the same way previous ones have been. We are giving you an applicable Bible verse, a reflection on that verse, and then a prayer. We also have a playlist of some of our favorite hymns which can be found here.

May you have a blessed Lent.
-Jen McCabe