Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Sweet Will Be the Flower

I received the following note from one of the ministers at my church and want to share it here. These are very sobering words which ring crystal clear to all who have undergone such "frowning providences."

Jason, thank you for this.

It reminds me of a passage in Spurgeon's An All-Round Ministry, where he writes, "If some men, that I know of, could only be favored with a month of rheumatism, it would, by God's grace, mellow them marvellously...I would not wish for any man a long time of sickness and pain; but a twist now and then one might almost ask for him. A sick wife, a newly-made grave, poverty, slander, sinking of spirit, might teach lessons nowhere else to be learned so well. Trials drive us to the realities of religion."

Here's William Cowper's meditation upon this same theme which is one of my favorite hymns.

William Cowper (1731–1800)

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.

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 flower.

Blind unbelief is sure to err,
And scan his work in vain;
God is his own interpreter,
And he will make it plain.