Horatio G. Spafford (1828-1888) was a successful lawyer in Chicago who maintained a keen interest in Christian activities, deeply spiritual and devoted to the scriptures. He experienced the death of his son. A fire in Chicago around 1871 devastated the city; invested hugely in real estate, the disaster wiped him out. Two years after the fire, Horatio Spafford planned a trip to Europe by boat for him and his family, his wife and four daughters. He was unable to go, struck by another vessel the ship sank, his daughters all drowned but his wife was saved. Knowing God as his personal Lord and Savior, he held on and wrote the hymn, “It is well with my soul”. His words, “Whatever my lot thou has taught me to say it is well, it is well with my soul”. What is it that empowers man who has been through so much to have such a faith? Is it made-up phony mysticism with little substance? I think not! Do not make the eternal mistake of dismissing Christianity as a foolish collection of mis-guided writings. Rev. Alistair Begg said on April 29, 2010 of our response to the Truth of our Savior God, Jesus the Christ, that “this is the great issue of life”!
Slave trader, John Newton, a seasoned sailor, thought he was in control when one day a large storm at sea forced him to see God. He stopped his focus on himself, saw God as a loving and forgiving God, and wrote “Amazing Grace” in 1779. His words: “Amazing grace! How sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me! I once was lost, but now am found, was blind, but now I see.” Later he became a minister and dedicated his life to the Gospel of Christ. Oh how we think we are in control. I pray you gain the eyes to see as John Newton did. We do need to be open to God, give in to His control, and not our own. We are lost. We have no control. I remember the day when the world hiccupped and 5,500 people died in Kobe, Japan (the 1995 Great Hanshin Earthquake), or terrorists brought down Americas’ tallest structures, the two 110 story New York World Trade Center buildings, and killed 3,000 innocent people in 2001.