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SANDY WALKER WRITES
Clarity . . .
The backwards look can be enlightening. Once you're out of the emotion or frenzy of the moment, it's easier to see how the hand of the Lord moved by orchestrating details and guiding you step by step--even if you were traveling a path you wouldn't have chosen for yourself.
The real value of reading events backwards lies in being able to correctly interpret what just happened. Without that clarity, we can misconstrue every critical event. The key to really understanding the Lord's providence in our individual lives or in the lives of our family, friends or country is to interpret things correctly.
When we look back over the year 2020, I wonder whether we will correctly interpret what the Lord was doing in our nation and in nations around the world over the past few months. Will we see the Lord working behind the scenes, showing us all how helpless we are to stop a microscopic virus in its tracks? Will we, instead, convince ourselves that "COVID-19 was a fluke accident," or that "the Wuhan virus was a well-executed but malicious plot?"
When we look back, will we realize that, as a people, we let panic rule to the point that we forfeited civil liberties that we may never be able to reclaim? Will we see that--as a nation--we blindly followed the advice of mostly godless people who assured us that we were not able to fight this disease on our own. We NEEDED the government to tell us how to live, what to think, and what we could purchase.
Concerned about Health . . . and about Liberty
I'm not trying to downplay the danger. I'm staying home. I'm wearing a mask when I do go out. I'm praying for healing of the sick, and protection for medical workers, police officers, and all workers who have to be out and about.
However, history is replete with examples of the wrong decisions people make when they interpret events incorrectly, especially when they are whipped into a frenzy by media and act quickly. The internment of Japanese Americans during World War II is just one example.
I pray that when we have the opportunity to look back on the first half of 2020, we will do so with 20/20 vision. I hope we won't see the path to recovery strewn with liberties that were hastily cast aside.
William Cowper was a talented poet and wordsmith who penned hymns and poems that still touch the hearts of people today. Perhaps his greatest legacy lies in the fact that he learned to trust God, even when life is hard.
Cowper (pronounced “Cooper”) was born in England in 1731, the son of one of King George II’s chaplains. William’s early life overflowed with sadness. Three older siblings died while he was very young. His mother died a little later, when he was only six. Shortly thereafter, William was sent to a boarding school. He was bullied badly there, and ostracized. Those years were a misery, and they cast a shadow on the rest of his childhood.
All of the sadness and trauma took its toll on Cowper. After studying to practice law, he succumbed to depression before he could take the exam. He spent several months in an asylum. When he recovered enough to leave the asylum, he went to live with Morley and Mary Unwin, with whom he lived for 22 years. He spent his days gardening and writing. He penned some of his most enduring hymns during this time.
One of Cowper’s most famous hymns is “God Moves in a Mysterious Way.” In all six verses Cowper carefully and skillfully weaves truths from the Bible into his lyrics. The simple words convey great understanding of human nature, as well. Two verses admonish the fearful who dread the clouds of life to look beyond the darkness of circumstances to see God’s “smiling face.” It’s the first verse, though, that is best known.
“God moves in a mysterious way his wonders to perform.
He plants his footsteps in the sea and rides upon the storm.”
In this verse Cowper eloquently captures one of the great truths of life—sometimes we just don’t understand why the storms--the bad things--happen. His succinct but powerful words show great perception; Cowper knew times of personal confusion and fear in his own life. He knew the struggle to overcome them.
William Cowper continued to battle depression for the rest of his life, at times falling nearly into despair for a season. Through all of those struggles, he wrote poems and hymns as an outlet for his soul. During times of some of his greatest struggles, he wrote some of his best work.. He stands today not only as one of the great English hymn writers, but also as an example of one who trusted and triumphed even when life is hard.
I'm Sandy . . .
I write crisp, accurate, engaging copy and content marketing for my B2B and B2C clients. My favorite topics are vacation rentals, urban homesteading, sustainability, and inspirational posts.