A hymn for a season

This is one season of my life, which is not over yet, that I will never ever forget. It is both bitter and sweet in its own ways. I am now reading a book by Jerry Bridges, Transforming Grace, where he included this hymn by John Newton. I cried buckets when I read it.

Prayer Answered by Crosses 
By John Newton

I asked the Lord that I might grow 
In faith and love and every grace, 
Might more of his salvation know, 
And seek more earnestly his face.

‘Twas he who taught me thus to pray; 
And he, I trust, has answered prayer; 
But it has been in such a way 
As almost drove me to despair.

I hoped that, in some favoured hour, 
At once he’d answer my request, 
And by his love’s constraining power 
Subdue my sins, and give me rest.

Instead of this, he made me feel 
The hidden evils of my heart, 
And let the angry powers of hell 
Assault my soul in every part.

Yea, more, with his own hand he seemed 
Intent to aggravate my woe, 
Crossed all the fair designs I schemed, 
Blasted my gourds, and laid me low.

Lord, why is this? I trembling cried; 
Wilt thou pursue this worm to death? 
This is the way, the Lord replied 
I answer prayer for grace and faith.

These inward trials I now employ 
From self and pride to set thee free, 
And break thy schemes of earthly joy, 
That thou may’st seek thy all in me.

pearlie