He plants his footsteps on the sea,
And rides upon the storm
Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust him for his grace;
Behind a frowning providence,
He hides a smiling face."
William Cowper (1774), from "God Moves in a Mysterious Way"
About seven years ago, I stepped down from a very precious season of ministry to college students with Asian American Christian Fellowship (AACF) at Cal Poly Pomona. I had seriously thought that this was where God wanted me to be for a long time. I guess I just wanted to settle somewhere. I was tired of not knowing what the next year would hold.
So when I sensed that the Lord was wanting me to move out of ministry and back full-time into my home, family and children, it really didn't make any sense to me. I think that what I was resisting was being anonymous: not known, not seen, and perhaps to be most honest, not appreciated.
But as the poem above says, God does move in mysterious ways. He alone is able to take the things that we think would kill us and turn them into what gives us life, purpose and a sense of well-being. It is not that I deserve it or have earned it, but simply because He knows far better than I do what is best for me. On the surface, I thought that God was "frowning" at me, but now I can see that what He asked me to do was really the best. I wouldn't be here writing to you today if He didn't.
Is there something in your life today that doesn't seem to make any sense? Does it sometimes seem that God is a whimsical God, playing with your life as a cat plays with a toy mouse? May He remind you today that even though it doesn't seem like it, your life is in the very best hands there are and that behind the frowning providence hides a smiling face.