Most of us surely are familiar with the phrase about God moving or working in mysterious ways to make good things happen.

In a survey, about 75 percent of Americans said they believed the phrase came from the Bible. To my surprise, I learned that is not the case.

Actually, it is the first line in a poem written in 1773 by English poet William Cowper. Four years earlier, Cowper tried several times one night to commit suicide but each time was thwarted by forces he couldn’t explain.

Cowper later teamed with John Newton, his neighbor and the author of “Amazing Grace”, to write hundreds of other Christian poems and hymns.

I recently became aware of a situation that seems to fit the description of God working in mysterious ways. It also falls into the category of God using another person to help someone in need.

For the sake of privacy, names and other details won’t be used.

An elderly woman living in Northeast Kentucky had to change medical providers after her family doctor retired.

The new person responsible for her medical care was compassionate and highly skilled but her new patient sensed that she was troubled.

Divorced and remarried,

the new provider had struggled through serious problems with her grown children and former husband.

Each office visit gave the new patient an opportunity to share how her Christian faith had helped her through life’s trials, including a divorce.

At first, the new provider was reluctant to share any personal feelings but eventually the two women learned they were members of the same Christian denomination.

Thus, began a series of invitations from the patient for the provider to go church with her. Finally, the provider and her new husband started going to church where they found personal peace and became active members.

As for the kindly patient whose persistence helped good things happen, she says she is much healthier since God stopped making her sick so she could be a missionary at the doctor’s office.

Keith Kappes can be reached at or by telephone at 356-0912.

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