A miracle is often the willingness to see the common in an uncommon way.
- Noah Benshea
We're hard at work on the first issue of Mysterious Ways magazine, a new bimonthly publication dedicated solely to those stories you love so much, those mysterious glimpses of God's grace and God's love at work in our lives.
(We're not taking orders just yet, but if you "Like" us on Facebook, you'll be among the first to be notified when we are.)
For the past two weeks, we've been introducing our staff and teasing stories from the inaugural issue on our Mysterious Ways Facebook page. Today, I shared one great little historical tidbit I found while researching an article about the poet who first penned the words, "God moves in a mysterious way ..."
The English poet William Cowper struggled with depression—and his faith—all his life. In a book about famous hymns, editor George D. Pyper wrote about the poet's childhood, "He was a delicate child, sensitive and shy, sheltered and protected by a doting mother."
But when Cowper was six years old, his mother died. His father placed him in a nearby school. It was there that he attracted the unwanted attention of the school bully, a boy five years older who delighted in tormenting him. In his own memoirs, Cowper wrote that he was so afraid to look the bully in the eye that he knew him "by his shoe-buckles better than any other part of his dress."
The treatment was almost too much to bear. Until ...
According to Pyper, "During one of these persecutions [Cowper] found a line in the Bible that gave him temporary comfort. It was, 'I fear nothing that man can do unto me.' This resulted in a spiritual exaltation that saved him from total collapse."
Not long after, the bully was expelled.
How did the young William Cowper happen upon that line (Psalm 118:6) in his moment of distress, of all the words in the Bible? Perhaps if he hadn't, he wouldn't have become the man who went on to write such beautiful and lasting hymns of faith.
It may have been the first time Cowper found himself comforted by God, but it wouldn't be the last. You'll learn more about the strange experiences that saved his life—and the life of his mentor—in our first issue of Mysterious Ways.
Have you stumbled upon comforting words in a moment you needed them most? Share your story with us. It could be featured in a future issue of Mysterious Ways!