This hymn was written after several traumatic events in Spafford’s life. The first was the death of his only son in 1871 at the age of four, shortly followed by the great Chicago Fire which ruined him financially (he had been a successful lawyer and had invested significantly in property in the area of Chicago which was decimated by the great fire). His business interests were further hit by the economic downturn of 1873 at which time he had planned to travel to Europe with his family on the SS Ville du Havre. In a late change of plan, he sent the family ahead while he was delayed on business concerning zoning problems following the Great Chicago Fire. While crossing the Atlantic, the ship sank rapidly after a collision with a sea vessel, the Loch Earn, and all four of Spafford’s daughters died. His wife Anna survived and sent him the now famous telegram, “Saved alone . . .”. Shortly afterwards, as Spafford traveled to meet his grieving wife, he was inspired to write these words as his ship passed near where his daughters had died. [Wikipedia]
365 Things I Believe is a revisioning of a year long web project. I initially launched the blog 365 Things I Believe because I think there are important things I have to say. There are eternal truths that are non-debatable, although I realize they’re not universally accepted.
So for a year I did a daily post of one thing I believe to be an indisputable truth. I’m relaunching here at The Write Side of My Brain and will continue through the next year to re-post (mostly) from the original project.
This time graphics and commentary are included. You can buy today’s print here. And, by the end of a year, if not sooner, you’ll be able to purchase the entire series in ebook format.