William Cowper was frequently troubled by feelings of despair and grief. In his deep depression one day he summoned a horse-drawn carriage (this was in the mid to later 1700’s) to take him to one of the London bridges. His intention was to take a suicidal jump into the Thames. But just at that time one of the densest fogs ever blanketed the city. In the confusion the driver got lost and drove around for an hour trying to find the bridge. Disgusted, William decided to stop the ‘taxi’, get out and walk. When he got off he found himself to be back at his own house. The driver had travelled in a circle. Totally overwhelmed by this sudden surprise, he took it as an act of the restraining hand of God. Needless to say, he did not try suicide again. Instead he decided then and there to cast his burden on the Lord for resolution. He immediately sat down and penned the words to a hymn that still appears in many hymnals. The first two verses say:
God moves in a mysterious way His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea, and rides upon the storm.
Ye fearful saints fresh courage take; the clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy, and shall break in blessings on your head.
That kind of care and compassion from God still operates today.