“Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 5:20
William Cowper was born in 1731 in a small town not far from London, England. His mother died when he was six, and his father sent him to Pitman’s Boarding School, which young William absolutely hated. In 1949, he began apprenticing for a lawyer, with a view to practising law. At least, that was his father’s wish – but William had no heart for the public life of a lawyer. When it came time for the exams – William sank into a deep depression. That depression was to plague him the rest of his life.
He eventually fell in love with a girl, becoming engaged – but her father decided at the last minute to refuse William Cowper permission to marry his daughter. William Cowper had had enough and sought to take his own life. But even his many attempts to commit suicide failed, and he would go on living in a state of dark depression. On April 25, 1800 William Cowper died. One broken man in a broken world.
I don’t know the heartache of your life. I don’t know the trials you are enduring. But I do know that all of us encounter dark seasons. There are times when we may have prayed for years, only to see no change. Like the psalmist, there may be times when our tears have been our food by day and night (Psalm 42:3). There may be times when we may be tempted to think that we are just broken people in a broken world enduring years of random, unjust, purposeless suffering.
But that is not the truth! William Cowper was enabled to write, “God moves in a mysterious way, His wonders to perform!” God is still in control, and still moving in mysterious ways! Will you trust Him? And even more, will you thank Him? Not just for every blessing of food and comfort and family today – but even for the dark seasons, for the pain, for the mysteriousness of His ways? God used the greatest darkness, the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ, to accomplish the greatest good! And He will not waste the darkness in your life, but will accomplish His glorious purposes through it! Thank Him today! The thanksgiving that comes through tears may be the sweetest praise to the heart of God!