Over 100 years ago, a very successful lawyer and real estate mogul, Horatio Spafford, lost a lot in the great Chicago fire of 1870, but years later he lost much, much more. The fire left thousands homeless, and Horatio and his family spent years helping those less fortunate. Exhausted, Horatio and his wife, along with their four daughters planned a cruise to Europe. But just prior to pushing off, Horatio was called upon to stay for business. Still, he sent his family on their much-needed vacation.
The ship - the Ville du Havre - along with his kids, didn’t make it to England. Horatio learned of the tragedy through the now famous and urgent telegram from his wife. It read simply, "Saved. Alone."
I'm probably not the first person to do a poor job of summarizing the story of Horatio Spafford, but I was reminded of it recently as I turned a corner, talking to the Lord about my "needs" and "concerns," I came across a homeless woman; mid-thirties, sunburned, sitting next to what looked like years of life in a shopping cart. I smiled. She didn't. As I continued to walk, I thought to myself, "I'm worried about web traffic. She lives in traffic."
This week is a good reminder to hug those close to us, and to help those less fortunate. And 130 years later, Horatio can help us do just that. You may not recognize his name, but you know his famous hymn. As he boarded a ship to find his wife, he wrote these words:
"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!”
Good words for us to remember and repeat as we give thanks, if for no other reason than being saved alone.
- Jimmy Peña
For Discussion: Saved alone. Is grace sufficient? Truth is -if it were all we had - it would still be enough. On top of it, God allows a lifetime of blessings. Let's start to name them. For me, I'm thankful for my salvation, my wife, and all of you. What about you? Give me your tops in the comment section. Let's make a list!