Read His Words Before Ours!
Four-year-old boys are full of magical whimsy and outlandish creativity.
Giggles and smirks, mischievous grins and twinkling eyes.
Dirt smudged faces, pockets full of treasures, tongues that can’t say their “R’s” and “L’s”, pudgy arms that squeeze super tight, and warm little bodies that snuggle as close as they can to yours.
Horatio’s 4-year-old little boy stopped doing all of those things as an uncontrollable bacterium overtook his body. He fought hard with as much bravery as his four years could muster, but the infection was too intense, leaving Horatio’s strong arms holding a lifeless boy in the end.
His heart was broken, his wife and daughters shattered by their grief.
Two years passed and, though the ache of his son’s passing was always tucked in his heart, Horatio still had a family to love on and lead well. A vacation was in order, a much needed get away to play and enjoy each other, so passage was booked and plans were made for a trip to England.
Excitement ran high as the arrival date drew near. The girls had been packed for weeks, eager for the time away and the adventure of travel. Even Anna, his lovely wife, had been more engaged lately and was anticipating the trip just as much as the girls.
How they needed this time away to re-connect!
Alas, as life often would have it, his work as a lawyer would detain him for a few days, so the decision was made for his family to go ahead of him to England and he would catch up as soon as possible.
Departure day came and he swung his littlest girl, Tanetta, high into the air, thrilling in the sound of her delighted squeals. He teasingly pulled the braids of his oldest, 11-year-old Annie, danced with Maggie who was 9, and laughed with Bessie, 5, who couldn’t stop talking about all they would see and do.
But it was the last time he would see his precious daughters.
All four of Horatio’s beauties would tragically perish before they reached England.
“Saved Alone” were the words Horatio read in Anna’s telegram.
Grief swept over him. Sorrow was his companion. His loss was so devastating. Yet, as he wrestled with his anguished soul, he ran to the One who held life and death.
The One who promised that nothing could ever separate Him from the ones He loved.
He ran to the Father because Horatio knew the truth of the Son,
“In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”
This was Horatio’s act of worship!
Turning to his Savior proved the depth of Horatio’s love, the authenticity of his faith, and the hope of his eternity.
Was his heart shipwrecked by grief?
Would he always carry the ache of loss etched deep in his soul?
Without a doubt.
But there was more.
There was hope.
It was well with his soul.
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers,
nor things present nor things to come, nor powers,
nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation,
will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Truth was his anchor.
Worship was his overflow.
Love was his beautiful redemption.
Horatio and Anna’s losses were great,
but their God was greater.
After their tragic loss, the Spaffords did more for Jesus than ever before.
Rather than let their grief overwhelm them,
they allowed God’s love to overrun them.
Horatio penned the words to “It Is Well With My Soul” as his boat passed over the waters where his girls died, and he could write them with authenticity, despite the magnitude of loss, because he knew the end.
He knew Who held his victory!
But, Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!
Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul!
His words echoed the truth Paul writes about in Romans 8.
“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”
What about you, Beloved daughter of the King?
You aren’t alone.
You aren’t unknown.
Your cause has not been disregarded by your God.
Take the tumultuous waves of your anguish, let Truth sink its anchor into your sea.
Pour out your heart before your God, let that be your worship.
Then let His love redeem you.
The very same love that sacrificed His son for you.
The very same love that holds you even when you want to walk away.
The very same love that will preserve you until the end of time.
Worship Him, Daughter.
Because you know the end.
And Lord, haste the day when the 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!
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!