Wednesday, December 2, 2009


William Cowper, British poet and Bible scholar (1731-1800) suffered from occasional bouts of deep depression and doubt. There is a legend about the last hymn composed by him. One night when he was in a dark mood of deep despair, he left his home, determined to end his life by jumping into the River Thames in England.
That night the city of
London was covered with an unusually heavy fog and Mr. Cowper, who was searching to find the river, lost his way and wandered aimlessly. After a long while, he saw a distant light and proceeded towards it. He was surprised to reach the doorstep of a house. The light was burning brightly within the house and the front door was open as if to welcome the wandering William. He soon realized that it was his own home and that God had mercifully brought him back to safety. Entering his room he wrote the following words of the beautiful hymn in praise of the living Lord by whose loving grace he could return to his own residence.

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.
(By William Cowper, ‘Light Shining out of Darkness’, Olney Hymns, published in 1779)
King David, in a prayer of Praise, sings, “In times of trouble He will shelter me; He will keep me safe in His Temple and make me secure on a high rock” {Psalms 27: 5}.
God said through Prophet Isaiah, “Can a woman forget her own baby and not love the child she bore? Even if a mother should forget her child, I will never forget you.
Jerusalem, I can never forget you! I have written your name on the palms of my hands” {Isaiah 49: 15, 16}.
Our loving heavenly Father is ready to rescue us during times of despair and depression. He protects us in the shelter of His infinite love and kindly leads us to the place of safety and peace.
By: Dr. Babu Philip, Professor, Cochin University of Science & Technology, Fine Arts Avenue, Kochi-682016, Kerala, India.

This is Story No. 172 in this site. Please click ‘Older Posts’ at the bottom of a page to read previous stories and click 'Newer Posts' at the bottom of a page to read newer stories in this site. Please click on a word in the 'Story Themes' to read stories on that theme.

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