20 Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. 21 And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”
Horatio Spafford was a successful attorney and real estate investor who lost a fortune in the great Chicago fire of 1871. Around the same time, his beloved four-year-old son died of scarlet fever. Thinking a vacation would do his family some good, he sent his wife and four daughters on a ship to England, planning to join them after he finished some pressing business at home. However, while crossing the Atlantic Ocean, the ship they were sailing on was in a terrible collision with another ship and sank. More than 200 people lost their lives, including all four of Spafford’s precious daughters. His wife, Anna, survived the tragedy and upon landing sent a telegram to her husband saying: “Saved alone. What shall I do?”
Horatio immediately set sail for England. As they were passing the very spot where his daughters drowned, the captain of the ship summoned Spafford and shared this with him. As he thought about his daughters, the Lord overwhelmed his heart and he penned the words of one of the most well known hymns:
When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll
Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to know
It is well, it is well with my soul.
Job had it all; but he lost it all in one terrible day. Overwhelmed with grief he shaved his head and fell into the dirt. What was he going to do now? How could God let this happen? Faithful people are supposed to have tragedies of this magnitude in their lives. I mean, isn’t God supposed to be our comforter, healer, deliverer, and friend?! With thoughts like this probably racing through his mind, and with a broken heart beyond anything we can imagine, he chose to worship. Anyone can worship with everything is good, but genuine worship is expressed best when tragedy strikes. Our songs in the night times of life are the most precious songs we sing. I don’t know what you’re going through today. You may be on the mountain top, but then again you may be on your face in the dirt in despair. Wherever you are today, choose worship. Know that God is good no matter what and His plans for you are for blessing. Whatever our lot, may we learn to say, “It is well with my soul.”