Peace Like a River

For thus says the Lord: “Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the nations like an overflowing stream; and you shall nurse, you shall be carried upon her hip, and bounced upon her knees.

Isaiah 66:12

“Peace like a river, peace like a river” a phrase I whisper to myself like a mantra when I feel anxious and need assurance that everything will be alright. “Peace like a river.”

Besides being a bible verse, this is also the opening line of the song “It Is Well with My Soul” by Horatio Spafford. This hopeful song was written after a series of horrible events in this man’s life.

First, his son died in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. Not only was he dealing with the death of his son, but this fire ruined him financially. However, these events did not break him. He moved forward, and He and his family decided to pursue other ventures. They booked their ticket on the SS Ville du Havre, and started preparations for a new start in England. At the last minute, he sent his wife and four daughters ahead of him while he finished up business back in Chicago.

In the midst of trying to work through zoning issues in Chicago, he received a telegram from his wife stating that she had been “saved alone,” had survived the capsize of the boat, but all of their daughters had drowned. Instead of sinking into despair, he wrote a song about having PEACE on his voyage over to meet his grieving wife. Only God could give you that kind of impossible peace. He lost his five children, his livelihood, his house, but he did not lose his faith.

So that’s why I whisper “peace like a river” when I’m facing something hard. Because it’s possible to have peace from God even in the toughest, most unimaginable situations. 

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