It isn’t often we sing the same hymn twice in one Sunday, but we did today. One of my favourites, and one of the most beautiful hymns I know, it also has one of the saddest stories behind the writing of it.
Horatio Spofford lost everything in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, and in an economic downturn in 1873. He and his family were to travel to Europe, but at the last minute he was delayed on business, and sent his wife and four little girls on ahead. While crossing the Atlantic, their ship collided with another, and all four daughters perished. Only his wife landed safely in Europe.
I cannot imagine the suffering they went through. Yet, as so often happens, something beautiful was born of their tragedy. This hymn, beloved by so many, is one I never tire of singing…
The Spoffords’ losses make mine pale in comparison. I am so grateful for the blessings the Lord has given me — the most precious being my salvation through my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
© Willena Flewelling