I have been pondering the old hymn "God Moves in a Mysterious Way" and admiring the deepness of the sentiment. The song was written in 1774, but still has meaning today.
God moves in a mysterious way His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea And rides upon the storm.
God is always in the storm with us. Just as Jesus saved Peter and the other apostles, He will come out to us on the water when we need Him the most.
Deep in unfathomable mines Of never failing skill
He treasures up His bright designs And works His sov’reign will.
We don't always understand what God is doing, but Romans 8:28 says "God always works for the good of those who love Him."
Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take; The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy and shall break In blessings on your head.
What a picture! Imagine a formidable storm cloud which approaches with speed--something the National Weather Service would call a "severe thunderstorm". But when it arrives, instead of pelting rain and hail, it drops flowers. The fiercest storm can be calmed by God.
Judge not the Lord by feeble sense, But trust Him for His grace;
Behind a frowning providence He hides a smiling face.
This is the only "dated" reference in the song, although many still view God as a "punishing" force. We may not see a lot of "frowining providences" in our modern worship services; however, we certainly can feel like God is frowning at us.
His purposes will ripen fast, Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste, But sweet will be the flow’r.
This is the deepest verse in the song. As Hebrews 12 says, "No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by " (Heb. 12:11-NIV). Righteousness and peace await those who are trained by the discipline of God.
Blind unbelief is sure to err And scan His work in vain;
God is His own interpreter, And He will make it plain.
Even if His ways are mysterious and seem incomprehensible, He does make Himself very plain. He loves us and will do anything to help us be one with Him for eternity.