I’m on the road this weekend, going away with the LFC youth for their winter retreat. It’s been a few years since I’ve helped out with these kids, so I’m excited to see how God’s been at work in them, as well as what he will do over the next few days.
One of the coolest and weirdest things about being back is knowing the seniors this year were my first 7th grade class when I started working with the jr. high ministry. Boy, six years goes by quick!
When I think about where I was six years ago, I was just a freshman in college. Wondering and wandering about, not knowing exactly where God was leading but taking one step at a time. In some ways, my situation in life now isn’t much different. But so much has happened over the years. God has done some great things and taught me so much. And yet, perhaps not surprisingly, some of the same old temptations I fall into, habits I fail to break, and questions I can’t answer remain as well.
When you look back on the last year, the last five years, ten years, maybe twenty years – how have you seen God at work? What has he taught you? How has he changed you? What hasn’t changed: what darkness has not lifted, what pain has not relented, what toil has not produced?
As I think about these questions, I’m reminded of a beautiful, though oft-unsung, hymn by William Cowper called “God Moves in a Mysterious Way.” Check out the story behind the hymn here: http://www.challies.com/articles/hymn-stories-god-moves-in-a-mysterious-way. The lyrics are below.
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.