“The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying:
‘I have loved you with an everlasting love;
I have drawn you with loving-kindness’”
A fine English poet that I have referred to before in these devotionals is a man called, William Cowper (1731-1800). Cowper enriched the Christian Church with some wonderful worship and praise hymns. A few are still sung today. It seems also that he could spellbind his readers with a simple discussion about a blade of grass or some other insignificant part of creation.
Many weary Christians will joyfully recall his hymn that begins with the words:
God moves in a mysterious way His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea And rides upon the storm.
This remarkable view of a sovereign God Who is able to ride the storm and direct its every movement is breathtaking. Such is the amazing view Cowper had of his God as long as he looked to the Lord and not at himself.
Cowper got himself into great trouble emotionally when he looked at his own failure to walk with the Lord as he desired and as he knew his Creator deserved. It is a trap into which any follower of Jesus can fall.
Of course there is a need to examine ourselves if we are ever to make progress in living the life for which we have been created. Perhaps we need to look closely and long enough at ourselves to recognize that we are inadequate for life or death.
The seasons of deep depression that Cowper endured may have been fed by looking to himself instead of to the loving God he knew was there for him. Any one of us may be tempted to keep looking inward and drive ourselves to depression. What we need is to look up to the God Who made us and Who seeks us in our darkness and gloom.
The God of Cowper and of all true Christians is well described in another verse from the prolific pen of Cowper himself.
Friend of the friendless and the faint,
Where should I lodge my deep complaint,
Where but with Thee, whose open door
Invites the helpless and the poor!
It is wonderfully helpful to recall at all times and seasons that the Creator has an open door to His presence for all who will stoop and enter. Jesus is especially seen in Luke’s Gospel as the “Friend of the friendless”. Luke was a physician and was therefore accustomed to seeing people with various ailments. Perhaps this is why he demonstrates such a fascination for writing the stories about Jesus being with people who had problems.
Today this sovereign and loving God invites you to come to Him. Indeed as Cowper puts it, “[His] open door invites the helpless and the poor.”