He Maketh No Mistake

The Worship Initiative Hymns   —   View Song   —     —   Get the Free Devo App

Play the devotional:

AM Overton, husband and father of three, originally wrote this poem in Mississippi in 1932. His wife was pregnant with their fourth child, but due to complications during delivery, both her and the child tragically died. During their funeral service, the minister noticed Overton scribbling on a piece of paper and approached him afterward to inquire what it was he was writing. It was the words of this poem in full…

My Father’s way may twist and turn,
My heart may throb and ache,
But in my soul I’m glad I know,
He maketh no mistake.

My cherished plans may go astray,
My hopes may fade away,
But still I’ll trust my Lord to lead,
For He doth know the way.


From our side of things, words like “twist and turn” and “throb and ache” are more than fitting to describe a life lived east of Eden. Faded hopes and failed plans; dark nights that never seem to fade into daybreak. Surely this is what life looked like for one so mired in loss as Overton. His plans for life as a family of six dashed, staring down the grief of navigating life as a family of four. The ache of losing a child you had never met but deeply loved. The longing for the wife you cherished and will never see again before your own death.


Each of us, even if we have lived the most charmed of lives, knows something of this kind of heartache. All of our lives are tragic because all of our lives are fragmented by sin. All of our seeing is through a glass dimly. And if we are honest, in the midst of the ache, the fragmentation, the cloudy vision, we often lose heart. We don’t see how the hand of God could possibly be guiding us. We don’t see how The Author could be writing something beautiful and good in the midst of such brokenness and agony. 


Often, this agony turns to anger. Anger at the One who wrote the story this way. How could the one who said “and all my days were written in His book as before yet there was one” think that this day – this pain – is worthwhile? How could any of this possibly be turned for good? Have you ever asked these questions? Surely you have. Surely AM Overton did. And yet something – some One – enabled him to say:


Tho’ night be dark and it may seem
That day will never break,
I’ll pin my faith, my all in Him,
He maketh no mistake.

There’s so much now I cannot see,
My eyesight’s far too dim,
But come what may, I’ll simply trust
And leave it all to Him.


Our suffering is our own kind of Gethsemane: a place of darkness, fear, struggle, pain. Our pains are our own moments to say, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” But like Christ, we can pray to our Father and say, “nevertheless, not my will, but Yours be done.” Our heavy burdens are creating for us a heavy future glory while we look to the things that are now unseen but will one day be seen in full.


For by and by the mist will lift

And plain it all He’ll make.

Through all the way, tho’ dark to me,

He made not one mistake.


Death will give way to Resurrection. Resurrection will go forth to Ascension. This is what Overton was banking on: that his life was hidden with Christ in God; that what was true of Christ is true for him, for his wife; that if we have been joined to Him in a death like His then we will surely be raised in a resurrection like His. 


In your suffering, your longing, your aching, your grief, your confusion, your twists and turns…you can know that one day God Himself will wipe every single tear from your eye, death will be no more, neither will there be crying nor pain anymore, for the former things will have passed away. And then you will see in full. Your faith will be sight, and you will be able to say along with AM Overton, “He made not one mistake.”