Peace Like A River…

Dear Reader:

Amid all the fun craziness of ☘️ St. Patrick’s Day and Lachlan’s birthday, Honey sent me a picture of their state magazine’s cover for April and there, in all its charm and beauty, was ( another Saint close to me) St. Jude’s Chapel of Hope!

It all came under an article entitled…A Springtime Tour of 9 HISTORIC CHURCHES. ( But as you can see St Jude’s Chapel of Hope rose above all the others… making the front cover of the NC State magazine.)

The cover photo depicts the quaint little chapel from the angle across from Spring Creek- the perfect name with Spring arriving tomorrow! However it is the title of the article that brings us our story today … ” PEACE LIKE a RIVER…”

Ironically the creation of this favorite old gospel song…starts with a tragedy… a terrible tragedy! The author and creator of this favorite ageless song was Horatio Spafford-a Chicago lawyer and respected friend of the city’s most prominent evangelists

The Spaffords, even before their life-altering tragedy… had certainly had their share of life’s challenges. They had five children-four daughters and one son who died from pneumonia… the same year the Great Chicago Fire destroyed so much of Chicago and Horatio had to rebuild his career from the ” ashes up.”

Soon after …their family physician advised Horatio that a trip abroad might be good for his wife ‘s tenuous health. But right before he, his wife Anna and their four daughters were to leave …last minute business matters delayed Horatio’s departure. Still his wife and daughters sailed, as scheduled, on the SS Vi’ e du Havre in November 1873.

Midway a ship collided with the Stafford’s ship …sinking it in a small matter of time. Anna and her four daughters held hands and prayed together but it was only Anna, who was later discovered (by a lone sailor) floating on a piece of wreckage.

She sent her husband a telegraph message ” Saved Alone-What Shall I Do? ”

Later, a daughter ( Bertha) born after the tragedy told her father’s ” rest of the story.” He quickly sailed to join his wife… one day during the passage, midway across the Atlantic, the captain pulled Horatio up to the captain’s cabin and pointed around him -it was where his family’s ship went down.

Though still grieving her father experienced a moment right then when a ” supernatural” ” peace like a river” enveloped him.

In 1904 the traditional song was included in the Baptist Hymnal in Nashville Tennessee. ( adding the refrain ” It is well , it is well in my soul. )

Later three more children ( another died from pneumonia) blessed the Spafford family. . In 1881 they moved to Jerusalem where Horatio Spafford died.

So until tomorrow… ” And the peace of GOD which surpasses all understanding shall guard your hearts, your minds … through Jesus Christ. ” Philippians 4: 7

Today is my favorite day-Winnie the Pooh

So glad St Patrick’s Day was bright and sunny Friday because yesterday was chilly and raining … luck of the Irish! But before I left Friday I took pictures of new life popping up!

About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Peace Like A River…

  1. Johnny Johnson says:

    Mrs. Dingle the writing today made me sad as I read of the life of Mr. Spafford. But as I read on I began to think of how he carried on through it all never giving in to the sorrow he must have felt. I was awakened this morning with pain caused from my back problems and was feeling lowly. But as I read of Mr. Spafford and how the Lord pulled him through all the downright horrors in his life, my back seemed like such a minor inconvenience. I usually read your writings every morning and come away feeling uplifted and happy. I didn’t think I was going to be happy today, and I wasn’t at first. Seeing all the Spaffords, his wife too pulled through it all. I know if the Lord pulled them through all the things in their lives, I know He will see me through this insignificant back problem. I realized just how very blessed my life is and has been from the beginning of memory to the present. I after all the feelings I had reading this Story, alas I am happy. Thank you for this writing today, it made me realize just how happy I should be everyday, and if I am feeling down and unhappy I should only remember the Spaffords and how blessed my life is!

    • Becky Dingle says:

      Johnny… I am so sorry to hear of your pain since I realize this is a chronic condition that you live with daily-so today I pray that you find ” peace like a river” and can say ” It is well in my soul.” prayers for healing and lessening of pain! 🙏🏻

      Sent from my iPhone

      • Johnny Johnson says:

        Thank you so much for the prayers! You are so obviously full of the Holy Spirit, and it shows!

  2. Rachel Edwards says:


  3. Lynn Gamache says:

    Becky, thank you for sharing these lovely photos and the beautiful story….all an awesome reminder of our Father’s goodness and grace. I pray we will all come to experience this gift of peace in our lives today whatever might come our way.

Leave a Reply