It Is Well, The Shunammite’s Answer

It Is Well With My Soul

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.


It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Written by Horatio G. Spafford, this is the history of the hymn, which we sang in services today:

“His wife Anna and his four daughters sailed ahead on the S.S. Ville du Havre. Urgent business delayed him so he planned to follow shortly.

The ship was struck by an iron sailing vessel and sank in 12 minutes in the cold waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Two hundred and twenty-six lives were lost. Mrs. Spafford miraculously survived the accident, but their four daughters Tanetta, Maggie, Annie and Bessie drowned in the tragedy. On reaching the European mainland, she cabled her husband with the sad message, “Saved alone.”

Stories differ as to when the hymn, “It Is Well With My Soul,” was written. Some believe it was later when Spafford was on a ship to rejoin his wife in Cardiff, Wales. When the captain informed him that they were passing over the scene of the accident, what depth of pain-filled grief must have flooded over him. The Holy Spirit inspired him to pen these words, “When sorrows like sea billows roll; whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say, it is well, it is well, with my soul.”

Others feel Spafford wrote this hymn about two years later when Moody and his music evangelist Ira Sanky were staying at the Spafford home. Friends can be a comfort and encouragement during difficult circumstances. Spafford, in spite of his anguish, could say along with the apostle Paul, “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances” (Philippians 4:11).

This bereaved, loving father longed for the day when he would see his four beautiful daughters and son again. “And Lord haste the day when the faith will be sight, the clouds be rolled back as a scroll; the trump shall resound and the Lord shall descend, even so, it is well with my soul.” The hope of being reunited with their beloved children gave these parents the courage to keep on living in faith. Their hearts were comforted and strengthened by the truth of the resurrection.
-from It Is Well With My Soul, by Cathy Sheridan

2 Kings 4

20 And when he had taken him, and brought him to his mother, he sat on her knees till noon, and then died.

21 And she went up, and laid him on the bed of the man of God, and shut the door upon him, and went out.

22 And she called unto her husband, and said, Send me, I pray thee, one of the young men, and one of the asses, that I may run to the man of God, and come again.

23 And he said, Wherefore wilt thou go to him to day? it is neither new moon, nor sabbath. And she said, It shall be well.

24 Then she saddled an ass, and said to her servant, Drive, and go forward; slack not thy riding for me, except I bid thee.

25 So she went and came unto the man of God to mount Carmel. And it came to pass, when the man of God saw her afar off, that he said to Gehazi his servant, Behold, yonder is that Shunammite:

26 Run now, I pray thee, to meet her, and say unto her, Is it well with thee? is it well with thy husband? is it well with the child? And she answered, It is well:

27 And when she came to the man of God to the hill, she caught him by the feet: but Gehazi came near to thrust her away. And the man of God said, Let her alone; for her soul is vexed within her: and the LORD hath hid it from me, and hath not told me.