Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” John 13:7 (NIV)
I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds. Your ways, O God, are holy. What god is so great as our God? You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples. With your mighty arm you redeemed your people, the descendants of Jacob and Joseph. Selah. The waters saw you, O God, the waters saw you and writhed; the very depths were convulsed. The clouds poured down water, the skies resounded with thunder; your arrows flashed back and forth. Your thunder was heard in the whirlwind, your lightning lit up the world; the earth trembled and quaked. Your path led through the sea, your way through the mighty waters, though your footprints were not seen. Psalm 77:12-19 (NIV)
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9
“God Works in Mysterious Ways.” We have heard it quoted so often that most of us think it is from the Bible, but the exact phrase, “God Moves in Mysterious Ways” actually comes from a hymn written by William Cowper in the late 1700s. Cowper, who suffered from severe depression and spent periods of his life hospitalized, was a well known British poet in the eighteenth century. He wrote about life in rural Great Britain, but he is also known for his hymns. There is a story told about Cowper that is unsubstantiated, but is the background for this particular hymn. It is said that one night, Cowper planned to commit suicide by drowning in the Thames River. When a thick fog descended upon the area, his cab driver was unable to find the way to the river and after getting lost, returned Cowper to his own home. The same man who is often quoted as saying, “Satan trembles when he sees the weakest saint upon their knees,” believed that the fog was God’s way of keeping him from suicide. I agreed with Cowper that God is always working in our lives in ways that we cannot see. Perhaps, someday, we will have the answers and know why things happen the way that they do, but in most cases, we will never know the reason until we go to Heaven. Youngest son continued to be discouraged about the disappointments in his life. I prayed that God would help him to be encouraged and to learn to be patient. I didn’t dream that that lesson would come the way it did this week. One of his mentors, an ROTC instructor from his High School Raiders team, saw youngest son’s frustration and invited him to go boar hunting. Youngest son was intrigued. He had never been hunting and had only shot a gun at a shooting range. For five nights, they sat out in the woods waiting for the arrival of a group of wild pigs. The signs were evident from the rooted up ground and from an attack on one of the farmer’s dogs. The pigs proved to be more wily than expected and night after night, youngest son and his mentor waited to no avail. Then, on Thursday night of last week, the pigs finally came within sight. On his first hunting trip, youngest son shot and killed two. I’m still wrestling with my feelings about that, but here is one thing I know. Sgt. Major hit on the perfect way of teaching youngest son patience and encouraging him at the same time. Youngest son’s demeanor is much improved. Now, he is learning patience some more as he seasons and marinates the meat which I am told, I will have to eat in the coming days. I am not sure what lesson there is in that for me, but I am willing to learn. In the meantime, I will be on the lookout for more of God’s mysterious ways.
God Moves in a Mysterious Way By 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 failing skill,
He treasures up his bright designs
and works his sovereign will.
You fearful saints, fresh courage take;
the clouds you so much dread
Are big with mercy and shall break
in blessings on your head.
His purposes will ripen fast,
unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
but sweet will be the flower.
Blind unbelief is sure to err
and scan his work in vain:
God is his own interpreter,
and he will make it plain.