God (still) Moves In A Mysterious Way

God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea
And rides upon the storm.

Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never failing skill
He treasures up His bright designs
And works His sov’reign will.

Poet William Cowper (1731-1800) wrote this hymn as a poem entitled ‘Conflict – light shining out of darkness.’

Cowper’s mother died when he was 6 and he didn’t relate well to his father. He suffered from depression, attempted suicide on several occasions and was admitted to St Albans insane asylum where he discovered faith.

This was the last hymn he wrote – after attempting suicide.

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy and shall break
In blessings on your head.

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust Him for His grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.

In 2022 I saw many of God’s mysterious ways that I didn’t understand. Bad and sad things happening to good people… dementia, cancers, suicide, unexpected death deeply affecting those I know and love… sometimes straining to see the loving God with plans for good… asking difficult questions that don’t have easy or obvious answers..

His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flow’r.

Blind unbelief is sure to err
And scan His work in vain;
God is His own interpreter,
And He will make it plain

Graham Kendrick has rediscovered the beauty and truth of this hymn, In 2023 I expect to see more of God’s unfathomable ways; I know there will be unanswered questions. I join Kenderick, trusting this God with mysterious ways but a heart of love… expressed in his words:

And I will trust
The hands that made the starry heavens
And I will trust
The wounds of Calvary
And I will trust
And I will not be afraid
For all his ways are love

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