4. Jesus lifts us up during the worst times of our lives.
Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken. – Psalm 55:22 (NIV)
Things were going well for the Spafford family. Horatio, a prosperous Chicago lawyer, was making shrewd investments in properties along Lake Michigan. He and his wife, Anna, were blessed with four daughters and a son, and living comfortably in the Lakeview neighborhood on the city’s north side.
Then a series of tragedies struck. First, the Spaffords’ four-year-old son died of scarlet fever. A short time later, the great Chicago fire of 1871 caused extensive damage to the properties that the Spaffords owned. The economic downturn of 1873 dealt a further blow to Horatio’s business interests.
In late 1873, needing a break, the family decided to travel to Europe. Needing to stay in Chicago to resolve some fire-related zoning problems, Horatio sent Anna and the girls ahead on the S.S. Ville du Havre. On November 22, the ship was struck by an English vessel in the Atlantic and sank quickly.
Anna, who stayed afloat by clinging to debris, was one of only 47 people who survived. Her four daughters drowned. When she reached Cardiff, Wales, Anna sent her husband a telegram: “Saved alone.”
The grieving father hastily traveled to meet his grieving wife. As his ship passed the area where his daughters had died, Horatio, a devout Christian, wrote the hymn “It Is Well”. The first verse says, “…when sorrows like sea billows roll; whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say, ‘It is well, it is well with my soul.’ ”
How was Horatio Spafford able to deal with tragedies of this magnitude? He cast his cares, as overwhelming as they were, on Jesus, and the Lord sustained him.
Jesus will do the same for you.
This article features excerpts from Daily Strength for Men, a 365-day daily devotional written by Chris Bolinger, published by BroadStreet Publishing, and available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Christian Book Distributors, DailyStrengthForMen.com, and other retailers.
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