John 14:27 – Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
Only those who have gone through deep waters and bitter trials can know the comfort and re-assurance that the Lord so lovingly gives in those hours of darkness when we cry out for his help. In 1873, Mr. H.G. Spafford, a successful Christian businessman, lost all his material possessions in the great Chicago fire. He was quickly able to accept this, as he had set his affection on things above. However, a few weeks later, when his wife and children went to visit France, their ship was rammed, and sank. His wife survived, but all four of their children perished in the icy waters. Later, Spafford made a pilgrimage to the spot in mid-Atlantic where the wreck occurred. Heartsick with grief, Mr. Spafford suddenly felt a flow of supernatural peace and comfort, as he looked to the Lord for strength. With tears of gratitude, he wrote these thrilling 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, it is well with my soul."