Tuesday, March 6, 2012


An elderly friend - a man I would describe as a Giant of the Christian faith - confided that he was dreading upcoming back surgery. Not just dreading surgery, but quaking in his boots, shaking like a child. "I am afraid...so afraid that I'm ashamed of myself."

I visited this friend when he was in rehab, re-learning to use his back, his arms, all of his muscles, really. As I walked to a table where he sat stacking plastic cups, his smile lit up the room. "All has turned out for the good!" he beamed.

Weeks later, at his house, my friend pulled out a hymnal and read to me these lines: "Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take; the clouds ye so much dread are big with mercy, and shall break in blessings on your head."

"I was such a 'fearful saint,' Camille," he shared, "but God indeed rained blessing and mercy on me, greater than I could have imagined." His blue eyes twinkled in his age-lined face.

The line from the hymn he shared comes from "God Moves in a Mysterious Way," one of my favorite hymns, written by one of my very favorite hymnists, William Cowper. William Cowper's life story is worth reading - for a snapshot of the great struggles this man faced, click here. Amazing that a man so weak and broken could be used by God to write words so full of grace and comfort, words that, centuries later, still minister to God's children!

God Moves in a Mysterious Way
- William Cowper

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-ending skill
he treasures up his bright designs, and works his sovereign will.

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take; the clouds ye so much dread
are big with mercy and shall break in blessing on you head.

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense, but trust him for his grace;
behind a frowning providence he hides a smiling face.

His purposes will ripen fast, unfolding ev'ry 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.

(Sovereign Grace Music has produced a version of this classic hymn, set to contemporary music - you can listen to it here.)


Anonymous said...

You are a red, white and blue brass button beauty. I love you.Dad

Suzanne said...

And how is our beloved Giant and his precious wife these days?