Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Behind a Frowning Providence, He Hides a Smiling Face

A man rushed out the door on a dreary, foggy London day. Hailing a cab, he directed the driver to the Thames River. His intention? To throw himself into its cold depths and end his life. It wasn't his first time attempting to take his life. He suffered depression, bouts of mental instability, and the despair was too much for him this time. He was determined. Surely this would end his sufferings.

The fog quickly became as thick as butter and soon the cab driver was hopelessly lost. The man became agitated and disgusted with himself at yet another failed suicide attempt. He told the cab driver to just let him off in the midst of the thick fog, only to discover that it was where the journey had started. His home.

His name was William Cowper. He was a Christian.

Recognizing this providential kindness of God in leading the cab driver unwittingly back to his home, he wrote a poem titled 'Light Shining Into Darkness' which eventually was set to music becoming the hymn we know today as 'God Moves in a Mysterious Way.'

It's one of my favorite hymns and serves as such a reminder of the sweetness of God's sovereignty. It is severe at times, often in the form of trials, but ultimately for our own good and of course, His glory. Knowing that God has purposed everything that happens in my life is freeing, but difficult to understand. Particularly when you don't get what you want, which yes is frustrating at the time and cause for many a tear, but then you look back really thankful that God doesn't always give you what you want. In fact, it's quite enjoyable to laugh at yourself and remember again all the reasons why you can't trust yourself (Jeremiah 17:9- "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?") and MUST cling to the Lord. Paul Washer said, "God saved you from Himself, God saved you by Himself, and God saved you for Himself," and I'd like to add that God is continually saving you from yourself.

One example of God working His will in my life, despite my inclinations elsewhere, was having me attend Pensacola Christian College. Since I was 14 years old, it was my dream to go to Israel and live there one day. So of course I was looking at colleges to attend there and found one in the heart of Jerusalem called Israel College of the Bible, it was a typical Messianic/Charismatic one and that didn't bother me too much at the time (now I realize how doctrinally weak it was and too much of an emphasis on Judiaism). I applied, was accepted, received my passport, and was about to apply for my student visa. The college had dorms but only enough for either the boys or girls which is why each year they switched who got them. That year happened to be the boys turn, so the college tried to help me find a resonably priced apartment, to no avail (very expensive to live in Jerusalem as you can imagine!). My Dad finally said I couldn't go and that I would have to go to PCC where my sister was attending and my brother was soon to be going. I was crushed and cried a whole lot but I can tell you now that I am soooo very thankful that I attended PCC. God did so much in my life and taught me so much and it was wonderful to go to college with my sister and brother. There have so many instances like this in my life, even before I was saved in fact, God's hand is always on His eternal children, guiding them to walk His paths. We will always discover in the end, that His way was more perfect, more beautiful than we could have ever imagined ("As for God, His way is perfect:" Psalm 18:30).

Of course, He often allows us to trip and fall down in our sins, so we can look up and realize how much we do need His help, His guidance, His direction, HIM. John Calvin writes, "Even the greatest saints, though realizing that they can only be strong in the grace of God, and not in themselves, are nevertheless more sure than they ought to be of their own bravery and persistence, unless He leads them by the trials of life into a deeper knowledge of themselves." So much is connected to a proper view and understanding of God, others, and ourselves, which we will never perfectly grasp in this life. This is why the difficulties and disappointments of life are necessary for our sanctification. They enable us to see our Lord Jesus Christ more clearly. And He will make everything beautiful in His time! There is sooo much more that can be said about God's sovereignty, especially in salvation!!! Perhaps for another blog post one day, but for now... chai tea time!

Jesus answered him,
"What I am doing you do not understand now,
but afterward you will understand."

~John 13:7~


  1. I love the hymn God Moves In a Mysterious Way!!!
    I was listening to it last night and at the end of the song I was crying like crazy!!!

  2. Hey Jenna,
    Excelent post. I loved that Washer quote don't you? I love to read your writing. You are getting better and better. I am thankful for all the good reminders in this post.Love you dearly my cherished one.

  3. Thanks guys. Yes the Washer quote is great! Thanks for the encouragement Stephy. And I apologize to everyone for the difficulty in reading the font! I'm trying to change it but it won't let me! Grrr!

  4. I love that one. cool....where's the sound...hummm... love u

  5. Jenna! I always love to read what you write. That is such a great reminder. :) Maybe you will write a devotional book someday...or a devotional series!?

  6. Dan, very original screen name there. love you too. Jenny! Thanks so much, hearing you say that is very encouraging to me. I know i was a bit cluttery, a book? maybe if i'm still alive around age 75, depending on what happens in my life. I think you should write a blog too. :)

  7. Excellent post, Jenna!

  8. Thanks for reading it Missy! :D