Thy Way Is Best

I have mentioned in the past that I have been exploring some of the Christian poetry of the nineteenth century—an era in which poetry was a prime devotional genre for the church. I was recently making my way through Christopher Newman Hall’s Pilgrim Songs in Cloud and Sunshine, and was taken by a number of works, including this one, titled “Thy Way Is Best.” I thought you might enjoy reading it as well, for it is a simple but moving profession of faith amidst all of life’s circumstances.

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Thy way, O Lord ! Thy way—not mine!
Although, opprest,
For smoother, sunnier paths I pine,
Thy way is best.

Though crossing thirsty deserts drear,
Or mountain’s crest;
Although I faint with toil and fear,
Thy way is best.

Though not one open door befriend
The passing guest;
Though night its darkest terror lend,
Thy way is best.

So seeming wild without a plan,
Now east, now west,
Joys born and slain, hopes blighted, can
Thy way be best?

My soul by grief seems not to be
More pure and blest;
Alas! I cannot, cannot see
Thy way is best.

I cannot see—on every hand
By anguish prest,
In vain I try to understand
Thy way is best.

But I believe—Thy life and death,
Thy love attest,
And every promise clearly saith-
“Thy way is best.”

I cannot see—but I believe;
If heavenly rest
Is reached by roads where most I grieve,
Thy way is best.