Hope is an Anchor
It is often said that grief comes in waves. It’s true I suppose, but seldom are they the gentle waves that lap at our feet as we wiggle our toes in the sand on the beach. No, while over time some waves of grief do not rock us with such force that they knock us off our feet, many grief waves are the violent, hurricane type that threaten the integrity of even the sturdiest vessels. These waves swell from deep within the sea of life and often arise without warning. They are towering walls of water that are unavoidable and can leave us feeling battered, broken and hopeless. When these raging waters threaten to overtake your weary soul, drop your anchor into the sure foundation found in the river of grace.
“We have this this hope as an anchor of the soul, firm and secure.” Hebrew 6:19
Horatio Spafford was a wealthy Chicago lawyer. He was a devout Christian and faithful student of the Scriptures. He seemed to have everything good in life. He had a thriving legal practice, a beautiful home, and a loving family. At the height of his success, he and his wife, Anna, lost their young son. Shortly thereafter, on October 8, 1871, the Great Chicago Fire destroyed almost all of Spafford’s real estate investments. In an effort to rest and recover from all the tragedy, the Spaffords scheduled a vacation to Europe. Horatio sent his wife and four daughters ahead of him while he remained in Chicago to take care of some unexpected last minute business. Several days later he received notice that the ship carrying his family had collided with another vessel. Anna narrowly escaped, but all four of their daughters drowned.
With a heart that weighed heavy in his chest, he boarded a ship that would take him to be with Anna in England. I cannot imagine the magnitude of such loss, yet when his boat came to the spot where the collision had taken the lives of his daughters, Spafford penned the words to the hymn, “ It Is Well With My Soul”. Horatio Spafford trusted his Anchor. Though his sorrow like sea billows rolled, he let peace like a river attend his soul. The tragic story of Spafford’s loss has given hope to countless thousands.
It Is Well With My Soul
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.
It is well (it is well),
With my soul (with my soul), It is well, it is well with my soul.
Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
My sin, oh the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to His cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!
For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou will whisper Thy peace to 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.
The waves come, the storm rages, but we are not alone in this tempest. Our faith tethers us to an anchor of hope that is based on truth and the certainty of our salvation to steady our souls while we weather the present storms. Let your tears fall into the grace water that runs over our Anchor. Let these waters of peace be a sponge to your dry lips. Feel it trickle over you and then let it flow over you washing away the darkness. His river of grace is more powerful than the tides of destruction that threaten.
Jimmy Needham was a friend of our son, Taylor. Listen to his beautiful version of this comforting hymn.
I’m praying for you!