God Moves in a Mysterious Way
William Cowper, 1774
Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy and shall break
In blessings, in blessings
In blessings on your head.
I am on the verge of probably losing my job…again. The unknown is often like a dark cloud. It casts a shadow over your life when your trust in the Lord falters. Yet the Lord delights in blessing His children. Recently, I have especially appreciated the above chorus from Jeremy Riddle’s arrangement of the hymn, God Moves in a Mysterious Way. Though we are fearful of what appears to be a dark cloud that will only bring trouble, the Lord “rains down” blessings instead.
I experienced this on a small-scale just this week. Yesterday seemed like a dark cloud—on top of having parent/teacher conferences from 3:30 to 7:00 after school, I was being observed by our professional development administrator. And then, after a long day, I would still have to prepare for teaching on Wednesday. I was stressed before the day began. As I drove to school, I thought, “Tuesdays are always terrible days.” However, the Lord surprised me by raining down His blessings from this “dark cloud.”
Though I was a bit nervous at first when Amy (the professional development administrator) and Julie (my school’s instructional coach) entered the room to observe, I soon relaxed. My students were actively engaged in the day’s writing lesson. I am preparing them to write a persuasive essay proving the innocence or guilt of Jack from the familiar fairy tale, “Jack and the Beanstalk.” We were reading the tale and analyzing the characters’ behaviors. By the end of the lesson, my students were in a full-out debate on the issue. It was amazing—more perfect than I could have planned!
Amy and Julie loved the lesson—so much so that they bragged to the principal about it! During my follow-up meeting, they helped me brainstorm some more ideas as I continue teaching the unit. Later, during my dinner break in between conferences, Julie told me to come see her when I got a chance because she had something for me. When I walked into her office, she excitedly handed me a stack of papers. “Ever since we observed your lesson, I can’t stop thinking about it! Here’s a bunch of stuff I thought might help you out with your unit.” She had written down discussion questions and included a packet of persuasive writing materials.
I was astounded and shook my head as I walked down the hall to my classroom to continue conferences. Right there, God had broken open my “cloud” to bless me. These ideas and materials were exactly what I needed. And the blessings continue—this morning before school I met with Julie again, and she helped me even more with specific things I needed for today’s lesson. The Lord is so faithful to provide for me—even in the little things. I am surprised that I ever doubt Him. Why fear the clouds? For without them, the sunset wouldn’t be as beautiful.