It Is Well

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#221: “It Is Well”
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Philippians 4:12-13

12I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

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It Is Well

“It Is Well” is episode #221 of the Adventures in Odyssey audio series. It was written and directed by Phil Lollar, and originally aired on February 27, 1993.


Whit tells Lucy Cunningham-Schultz the story of the hymn "It Is Well."



Whit is in his office, listening to a tape of his church choir singing “It Is Well with My Soul.” Lucy enters and comments on how pretty the song is. Whit agrees that it’s a wonderful piece. He adds that the church has a rich tradition of hymns that are now almost forgotten. Whit and Lucy listen to part of a verse for a moment, then Lucy comments on how inspirational and poetic the words are. Whit says the story behind those words is extraordinary. He describes the life of the hymn’s writer, Horatio G. Spafford.

Spafford suffered incredible tragedy in his life. He lost his business to the great Chicago fire and his son to disease. Then, if that weren’t enough, he sent his wife and four daughters to England on an evangelistic tour and, on the way over, the boat sank in a storm. All four of his daughters drowned. Only his wife survived. Spafford left for England immediately. As his ship passed over the spot where his daughters were lost, Spafford wrote his most famous and inspirational verse: “When peace like a river, attendeth my way / When sorrow like sea billows roll / Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say / It is well, it is well, with my soul.”

This plot section is too short and should be expanded. »

Discussion Questions

  1. Why did Whit say it is important to sing old hymns as well as more modern praise songs?
  2. How could Horatio Spafford write “it is well with my soul” even though he lost all of his children and his business?
  3. Could you say the same thing if something terrible happened to you? Why or why not?


Role Voice Actor
Annie Spafford Unknown
Bessie Spafford Unknown
Captain Phil Lollar
Fire Chief Hal Smith
Horatio G. Spafford Joe Campanella
John Whittaker Hal Smith
Mr. Kramer Matt Hurwitz
Lucy Cunningham-Schultz Genni Long
Maggie Spafford Laura Assaf
Montgomery Matt Hurwitz
Philip Bliss Nathan Carlson
Dr. Rawlings Matt Hurwitz
Mrs. Spafford May Keller
Sailor Matt Hurwitz
Stewart Bob Luttrell
Tanetta Spafford Tapherine Brown


  • PARENTS: Though this is an inspirational and moving story, it does contain a realistic shipwreck as well as several deaths. While handled tastefully, these scenes may frighten younger listeners.
  • Lucy says, "We sing mostly praise songs in my church," making it clear that she and Mr. Whittaker do not attend the same church. However, in "An Adventure in Bethany, Part 1", Whit notices that Lucy was not at church and approaches her about it. Perhaps one of Lucy's friends who visited Whit's End had told him.


Lucy Cunningham-Schultz: I didn't know you sing.
John Whittaker: Well, I'm sure a lot of our choir members think I can't. But I do my best.

Horatio G. Spafford: I tell you, Philip, dealing with bureaucracy is no picnic!
Philip Bliss: Yes, it must be very difficult having all that money.