When Walls Come Tumbling Down: It Is Well, It Is Well With My Soul, Part 2

by | May 26, 2002 | Accusation, Condemnation, Helping, It Is Well, It Is Well With My Soul, Judging, Love

James 4:12 “But you-who are you to judge your neighbor?” NIV

Following the tragic deaths of their four daughters on the Ville du Havre, Horatio and Anna Spafford were blessed with two other children, Horatio Goertner Spafford and Bertha Hedges Spafford. Once again the Spafford home rang of the cooing and ahhing of little children. How blessed the parents felt, and how carefully they cared for their new little ones.

When Horatio Jr. Was four and Bertha two, they went with their mother to visit some relatives while their father was away on business. A few days into his trip, Horatio Sr. Received a telegram at his hotel. As soon as he had read it, he checked out of the hotel and headed for the nearest train station. The news? Both of his children had contracted scarlet fever!

Once back home, Horatio Sr. Was happy to hear from the doctors that little Bertha was doing better. Unfortunately, however, Horatio Jr. Was struggling to stay alive. He could hardly breathe and the medication wasn’t helping. Both Anna and Horatio Sr. Were holding his hands when, from his nursery bed, he breathed his last. Devastation had once again struck the Spafford home.

Hardly anyone attended the funeral. Besides having to take care of her bed-ridden daughter, Anna was too grief-stricken to attend. “How selfish for a mother not to attend her own son’s funeral,” was the comment most-often directed her way. Horatio, who conducted the ceremony himself, took criticism as well: “How unfeeling for a dad to conduct his own son’s funeral,” they said. But worse yet, many were also saying, “if the Spaffords were truly Christians, God would not have permitted the death of most of their children.”

After the funeral, a good friend and fellow church member with his wife joined the Spaffords at their home. “We want to adopt your daughter,” they announced.

“You want to do what?” Cried Horatio in horror.

“Think about what is best for her!” They insisted. “You only have one child left out of six! Let us adopt her and give her a chance!”

Anna and Horatio were so confounded by this suggestions that they couldn’t speak for a few moments. Then, with a voice filled with emotion Horatio uttered: “Please leave. Please leave now.”

“Pray about it.” Their so-called friend suggested.

Attending church was even more horrifying. They overheard someone say: “They must be terrible sinners to have five of their children die!” These words were received like a deathblow, hurting them even deeper that the catastrophe they had just experienced. In the time that they needed comfort from their own church family, they were confronted by glares and accusations.

This didn’t stop them from worshipping their Heavenly Father, however, and continuing to have a close relationship with the One who made the real difference in their lives. Unlike their fellow human beings, He comforted them. Nothing would make them wander away from a God like that, not even their own church members!

Jesus had to confront the same mentality in His days: Matt 27:40 “You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!” NIV John 9:2 “His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” NIV

Job, too faced the same accusations, as well as many other saints throughout the Bible. Why is it that we love to accuse and condemn? Why are we not more eager to love like Jesus did and share the Good News that brings hope and salvation to anyone who believes? Where are we when someone needs comfort? Where are we when someone needs help? Where are the true Christians who follow Jesus’ command: John 13:34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” NIV Who are we to change this command into “Judge one another and make sure to put anyone around you down.” Who are we truly serving?

“Please help me!”

How will you respond next time YOU hear this cry?

Rob Chaffart

(To access the entire “It Is Well, It Is Well With My Soul” devotional series, please click here.)


When Walls Come Tumbling Down: It Is Well, It Is Well With My Soul, Part 2