I AM NOT SKILLED TO UNDERSTAND                                                 written in 1873

The Story

            There are many things about life and people I do not understand.

I’m sure there were many things Dora Greenwell could not understand. She was born into a well-to-do English family, but her father died and economic problems made it necessary for the family estate to be sold. She struggled with fragile health as she lived alone in London, England. Why hadn’t God given her an easier life? And she worked with children that were mentally and physically handicapped; why did they have to suffer so?

When Dora was 39 years old, she wrote her first book, The Patience of Hope. She was beginning to see how important patience is for dealing with life’s hard questions. But she didn’t want to dwell on life’s unanswered questions. Instead, she wanted to focus on God’s glorious exclamations… and His plan of salvation.

So, when she compiled her book, Songs of Salvation, she included this poem: “I am not skilled to understand what God hath willed… what God hath planned; I only know at His right hand stands One who is my Savior.”

William J. Kirkpatrick put music to those words, and it became the hymn we know today.

The Song

            Read this hymn, and – today – after you’ve made your list of the thousands of things you don’t understand, give them to God and trust Him!

I am not skilled to understand what God hath willed, what God hath planned;
I only know that at His right hand is One Who is my Savior!

I take Him at His word indeed; “Christ died for sinners”—this I read;
for in my heart I find a need of Him to be my Savior!

That He should leave His place on high and come for sinful man to die;
you count it strange?  So once did I, before I knew my Savior!

And oh, that He fulfilled may see the travail of His soul in me,
and with His work contented be, as I with my dear Savior!

Yea, living, dying, let me bring my strength, my solace from this Spring;
that He Who lives to be my King once died to be my Savior!


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