Many of our hymns have a rich, and sometimes painful, history behind them. There is Amazing Grace and the Lord’s redemption of John Newton from the most vile of livelihoods — the slave trade. Then there is Horatio Spafford’s It is Well with My Soul. The first part of the first verse reveals some of his pain along with the peace that only God can give:
When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Why did he mention water — a river and the sea? He had just lost his four daughters to an accident at sea. That’s more pain that I can imagine, but it seems that an even greater peace comes through the greatest pain.
Some hymns have these rich stories behind them. Have you read any of them? Which have touched you most deeply?