When We Are All In Love – It Is Well

Horatio G. Spafford was a successful lawyer and businessman in Chicago with a lovely family - a wife,
Anna, and five children. However, they were not strangers to tears and tragedy. Their young son died with pneumonia in 1871, and in that same year, much of their business was lost in the great Chicago fire. Yet, God in His mercy and kindness allowed the business to flourish once more.
 
On Nov. 21, 1873, the French ocean liner, Ville du Havre was crossing the Atlantic from the U.S. to Europe with 313 passengers on board. Among the passengers were Mrs. Spafford and their four daughters. Although Mr. Spafford had planned to go with his family, he found it necessary to stay in Chicago to help solve an unexpected business problem. He told his wife he would join her and their children in Europe a few days later. His plan was to take another ship.
 
About four days into the crossing of the Atlantic, the Ville du Harve collided with a powerful, iron-hulled
Scottish ship, the Loch Earn. Suddenly, all of those on board were in grave danger. Anna hurriedly brought her four children to the deck. She knelt there with Annie, Margaret Lee, Bessie and Tanetta and prayed that God would spare them if that could be His will, or to make them willing to endure whatever awaited them. Within approximately 12 minutes, the Ville du Harve slipped beneath the dark waters of the Atlantic, carrying with it 226 of the passengers including the four Spafford children.
 
A sailor, rowing a small boat over the spot where the ship went down, spotted a woman floating on a piece of the wreckage. It was Anna, still alive. He pulled her into the boat and they were picked up by another large vessel which, nine days later, landed them in Cardiff, Wales. From there she wired her husband a message which began, “Saved alone, what shall I do?” Mr. Spafford later framed the telegram and placed it
in his office.
 
Another of the ship’s survivors, Pastor Weiss, later recalled Anna saying, “God gave me four daughters. Now they have been taken from me. Someday I will understand why.”
 
Mr. Spafford booked passage on the next available ship and left to join his grieving wife. With the ship about
four days out, the captain called Spafford to his cabin and told him they were over the place where his children went down. According to Bertha Spafford Vester, a daughter born after the tragedy, Spafford wrote “It Is Well With My Soul” while on this journey.
   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.
 
“And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, shall keep your hearts, your minds through Christ Jesus.” - Philippians 4:7.
Story behind the song: It is well with my soul
 
When we are All In Love with God, His Spirit works its way into our own and begins to transform us.  When we surrender to Him, and allow His Spirit to pour into the cracks and crevices of our lives, we begin to SEE the world, EXPERIENCE the world, and INTERACT with the world in a very different way.  
 
This shift is often very noticeable during difficult times. As God’s love, mercy, grace, and peace gain ground
inside of us, we find our own Spirits in a different place, enabling us to move forward with a different face. Regardless of our circumstances, when we choose to be “All In Love” with God, we find that it is well with our souls.
 
Only when we are ALL In Love with God can our hearts find this place. This settling of our souls has NOTHING to do with our circumstances, and EVERYTHING to do with WHO we choose to face our
circumstances with. It begins with Loving God with ALL of our heart, ALL of our soul, ALL of our mind, and ALL of our strength.
 
Today, as you endure the circumstances of our present storm, I invite you to be in prayer for ANYONE who
is being impacted by Hurricane Florence. Let us find a way to be God’s grace, love, mercy, and even His peace during a time of great uncertainty for many.  
 
During your time of worship this morning, please pray for:
 - Those who have experienced loss
 - First Responders
 - Generous hearts to share with those in needs
 - For God to redeem this tragedy by using it as a way to pour His love into the world through everyone who chooses to help
 - For all levels of government and service providers as they begin to respond
 - For a sense of unity in God’s Spirit
 
The Most Important Commandment
  One of the teachers of religious law was standing there listening to the debate. He realized that Jesus had answered well, so he asked, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”
  Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’  - Mark 12:28-30 (NLT)
 
Join us for worship next week as we continue to experience what it looks like to be “All In Love” with God in our daily lives.