“Hymns breathe the praise of the saints, the vision of the prophets,
The prayers of the penitent and the spirit of the martyrs.
They bring solace to the sad, assurance to the perplexed,
Faith to the doubter and comfort to the oppressed.
They span the centuries of history,
And bridge the barriers of denominations.
Study them to be pure in heart; sing them to be joyful in spirit,
Store them in the mind to possess a treasury of worship.”
My heart has turned to hymns many times these past few weeks. Most times I can get through at least one verse without crying.
We live in such a hurting world; and I try to make sense of all the pain. Sometimes I feel as if God doesn’t really care about my loved ones’ suffering through cancer. Where’s His concern for a tiny boy born with a broken heart? Too many questions…
In 1773, a very depressed man named William Cowper (pronounced “Cooper”) tried to end his life by drowning. He had attempted suicide at least three times previously; and had been in and out of mental asylums. On this occasion, however, his intended place of death was the Thames River. There was a thick fog and the driver of the cab became lost. Evidently they wandered for a time; then somehow the carriage ended up back in front of Cowper’s lodging. It was then that he wrote:
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.
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.
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.
Thank you Jesus!