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Of Patterns & No Patterns

February 24, 2013

There is the hymn, quite popular, a line of which reads: “God moves in a mysterious way, His wonders to perform.”

Here is a short version of the story of the writer of the hymn, William Cowper:

Cow­per oft­en strug­gled with de­press­ion and doubt. One night he de­cid­ed to com­mit su­i­cide by drown­ing him­self. He called a cab and told the driv­er to take him to the Thames Riv­er. How­ev­er, thick fog came down and pre­vent­ed them from find­ing the riv­er (ano­ther ver­sion of the story has the driv­er get­ting lost de­liber­ate­ly). After driv­ing around lost for a while, the cab­by fin­al­ly stopped and let Cow­per out. To Cowper’s sur­prise, he found him­self on his own door­step: God had sent the fog to keep him from kill­ing him­self. Even in our black­est mo­ments, God watch­es over us.

At one time, God chose to save a suicidal person by a knock on the door, at another time, he chose to save by the cab man and the weather!

Joshua was one warrior like no other! Audacious & Courageous! But his victories could only be attributed to the backing that he had! One day he went to war and the outcome of the war was determined by the upraised hands of his spiritual father sitting up the mountain! Another day he went to war, and he dared the sun to stand still! He was too busy conquering to stand a sunset! Another war, the wall of the city fell down by themselves! Another war, he needed learned military strategy to set an ambush behind the city of Ai and cause heart attacks for the soldiers who saw their city ablaze! Only one thing characterized the life of Joshua, conquests! He conquered many but was conquered by none!

However, what if Joshua stuck to one pattern? What if he always, only, expected to win by having Moses raise his staff on a mountain top? Moses eventually died anyway! What if Joshua always expected city walls to fall before him? I bet he would have not been able to conquer the cities that had no walls! What if he only depended on learned military strategy? He would simply not have been able to get into Jericho!

God really does move in mysterious ways! One man meets his future wife in school, another meets his in church, another in the mosque and another on a commercial bus! A lady gets a job by taking a job test, another gets hers by selling an idea. Yet another gets hers by simply leading her graduating class.

There’s rarely any venture that has only one way by which it could be done. And if man has so many options, how much more God? How would God resolve the issues we have laid before Him? How would He smoothen out the rough edges at our places of work? How would He break down the complex assignments for us to tackle?

Infinite ways, unlimited options!

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From → God

4 Comments
  1. Joko permalink

    Yes, ‘Infinite ways, unlimited options’!!!!. Learning this everyday and glad to be, as our human minds can be so limiting. God bless.

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  2. When I was much younger and I had to memorize Eph 3:20, “Now unto Him that is able to do exceedingly abundantly, above all that we ask or think…” I remembered never wanting to imagine how God was going to answer my prayers or imagine what God was going to do next because I was scared that once I imagined it,He wouldn’t do it.As a child, I felt that the verse meant that He would only do those things that we cannot imagine.I was more than glad to find out this was wrong.I think d most interesting thing about our God is that His ways cannot be predicted.The patterns He takes to discipline His children differs, in the same vein, the patterns He takes to express His love is hardly the same. I call Him, The Creative One.

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  3. jjF permalink

    Lanre, You said it all, our Maker has unlimited options; we often say jokingly, translating ‘mysterious ways’ into Yoruba language as Ona eburu. So we say, Yes He comes in indirect routes but who can ever dare Him if He chooses a direct entry? Eleburu ike ni Olorun sugbon to ba gba oju ile, baba ta ni yoo mu? in this context, the wordings of verse two of Anna Laetitia Waring’s hymn – In heavenly love abiding – readily come to mind:
    Wherever He may guide me,
    No want shall shall turn me back;
    My Shepherd is beside me,
    And nothing can I lack:
    His wisdom ever waketh,
    His sight is never dim;
    He knows the way He taketh,
    And I will walk with Him.

    More feathers to your cap.

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  4. Speak…. our Father is so varied in His responses, time after time…
    We need only always ask His advice per time and never assume things should be done as they have been done before…

    In His dynamism lies part of the beauty of His Beautiful for all situation self.

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