Wednesday Worship: Whate’er My God Ordains Is Right

I don’t remember exactly how old I was when he died. I know I was a teenager. He was the husband of one of my mom’s close friends. My brother and I played at his house often with his two children. He was a man well known and loved in our small town community. He coached baseball and basketball to hundreds of kids every season and was loved by every one.

I remember the phone call to our house for Mom to come. He had come home after a long day at the ball field and fallen asleep on the couch. Then his wife called 911 when she couldn’t wake him up. Then she sat on the couch with his head in her lap waiting. And while she waited for the ambulance to arrive, she watched her husband breathe his last breath.

I remember how she clung desperately to faith in Christ. Faith that she had clung to for years married to a man that she loved but that did not share her faith with her. And she clung when that man died empty, alone, and without Jesus.

I remember his funeral. They didn’t have enough room in the funeral home for everyone who came.

And I remember the hymn she picked for Miriam, my vocal teacher, to sing. I remember the echo of Miriam’s voice in it’s haunting beauty. I will never forget how it sounded.

“Whate’er My God ordains is right…”

I remember questioning how it was possible, this woman who had lost so much, who had been left with children to care for on her own, this woman who now had to go out and find work rather than continue to be a stay-at-home mom, this woman who knew she wouldn’t share eternity with her husband… how is it possible to have such faith?

Now I know, y’all.

I know because in all the chaotic “stillness” of life, having Jesus is everything. I had already had that hymn memorized as a small child, and ever since that day, I have loved that hymn even more.

In his book, Counterfeit Gods, Tim Keller writes:

“In our lives there are always some things that we invest in to get a level of joy and fulfillment that only God can give. The most painful times in our lives are times in which our Isaacs, our idols, are being threatened or removed… like Abraham, you could take a walk up into the mountains. You could say, ‘I see that you may be calling me to live my life without something I never thought I could live without. But if I have you, I have the only wealth, health, love, honor, and security I really need and cannot lose.’ As many have learned and later taught, you don’t realize Jesus is all you need until Jesus is all you have.”

Which is why, when it seems like all is taken away, clinging to faith means I can say with the hymn writer:

“And so to Him I leave it all.”

Whate’er my God ordains is right:
His holy will abideth;
I will be still whate’er He doth;
And follow where He guideth;
He is my God; though dark my road,
He holds me that I shall not fall:
Wherefore to Him I leave it all.

Whate’er my God ordains is right:
He never will deceive me;
He leads me by the proper path:
I know He will not leave me.
I take, content, what He hath sent;
His hand can turn my griefs away,
And patiently I wait His day.

Whate’er my God ordains is right:
He is my Friend and Father;
He suffers naught to do me harm,
Though many storms may gather,
Now I may know both joy and woe,
Some day I shall see clearly
That He hath loved me dearly.

Whate’er my God ordains is right:
Though now this cup, in drinking,
May bitter seem to my faint heart,
I take it, all unshrinking.
My God is true; each morn anew
Sweet comfort yet shall fill my heart,
And pain and sorrow shall depart.

Whate’er my God ordains is right:
Here shall my stand be taken;
Though sorrow, need, or death be mine,
Yet I am not forsaken.
My Father’s care is round me there;
He holds me that I shall not fall:
And so to Him I leave it all.

Words: Samuel Rodigast, 1676; translated from German to English by Catherine Winkworth, 1863, and others. Rodigast wrote this hymn to cheer his friend Gastorius, who had become seriously ill. Gastorius not only recovered, but went on to write the tune for Rodigast’s words.

“Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?” Genesis 18:25

6 responses to “Wednesday Worship: Whate’er My God Ordains Is Right”

  1. judieyoung@hotmail.com Avatar
    judieyoung@hotmail.com

    My dearest Angie,

    How wonderful it is to know that HE causes all things to work together for our good. For He sees much more than we can. His molding hands are making us into the image of Christ. Predestined to be more like Him. May we be transformed by the renewing of our mind, so that we may be able to prove what is that good, acceptable and perfect will of God. May He give us the strength to put our minds on things that are above and not the things that are on the earth.

    Grace, mercy and peace abound to you in fullest measure.

    I love you dearly,
    Judie

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  2. That song is new to me. It speaks the words of Truth.

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  3. A new song to me as well – beautiful.

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  4. Oh Angie, I remember that day so well. Thank you for this. Trusting in our God who has ordained every day of your precious life for His glory. I love you dearly.

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  5. Amazingly I don’t recall having heard this song before. (And I thought I knew them all. lol)

    I am copying these words to put with my quiet time things. What magnificent truth they contain and what encouragement they bring!

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  6. I too remember that day so well. Every time I hear that song I remember that Sunday morning when we found out the news….I was so young and didn’t understand the words to that song when it was sung by Miriam. It certainly is a comforting song. Oh how we need to cling to Him in times of trials and questioning because God”s will may not always be what we want, but at least we know it is for the best and IT IS RIGHT!! Thanks for the reminder. Love you dearly!

    Becky

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