For the last couple of months, I have been sharing a “poem of the week” on a bulletin board outside my church office. Each week I share a poem that moves me. I am intentionally alternating between classic poetry and modern poetry, but all revolving around my Christian faith. I thought I would try sharing some of these poems on my blog, too. This week’s poem is by the 18th century English poet and hymnwriter, William Cowper. Here it is:

Light Shining out of Darkness | William Cowper

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 sov'reign 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 ev'ry hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flow'r.

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

This poem is most likely where we get the expression, “God works in mysterious ways.” But the part of this poem that I find most moving is the third stanza. To think of the clouds in life that I “so much dread” as being “big with mercy” that “shall break in blessings on your head” is a wonderful thing for me to ponder. Perhaps it will be for you as well.

4 thoughts on “Light Shining out of Darkness | William Cowper

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