William Cowper was a poet and a hymn writer who lived a desperate life, oft challenged by despair. In fact, so deep was his darkness that he attempted suicide many times. While a patient in a mental hospital, he was in the care of a compassionate soul who lead him to Christ.
It is said that even after his conversion, Cowper suffered greatly. Yet he clung to the one who saves and wrote many poems and hymns in testament to his Savior. Surely it must have occurred to Cowper that though he was a new creature in Christ, his life was, from time, to time, still a troubled one. Perhaps that what he pondered when he wrote this hymn:
God Moves in a Mysterious Way
1 God moves in a mysterious way His wonders to perform;
He plants his footsteps in the sea, and rides upon the storm.
2 Deep in unfathomable mines of never-failing skill
He treasures up his bright designs, and works His sovereign will.
3 Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take; The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy, and shall break in blessings on your head.
4 Judge not the Lord by feeble sense, but trust him for his grace;
Behind a frowning providence He hides a smiling face.
5 His purposes will ripen fast, unfolding ev'ry hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste, but sweet will be the flow'r.
6 Blind unbelief is sure to err, and scan His work in vain.
God is his own interpreter, and He will make it plain.
This hymn was sung today at the church I visited. As we sang verse four, I literally laughed out loud. Not a guffaw laugh, but an epiphanous giggle. I have long judged the Lord by my feeble sense of reality. I've given him what for and railed at him because of my own circumstance. Perhaps it is the life-long issue with which I wrestle, and by which I grow into sweeter communion with the God who is mysterious, yet faithful. For though I struggle and strive with him and his purposes, he mercifully tends to me by his infinite grace.
Sola Deo Gloria!