The Treasures of Tragedy

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O Father, I shudder with ev’ry affliction.
The day seems far dimmer than ever before.
Man is corrupted by sin’s contradiction.
The depths of depravity darken my door.
I know of no road to escape this great testing.
The cries and the chaos do threaten demise.
Sickness and sorrow are my heart arresting,
But within this furnace is found a great prize.
The treasures of tragedy truly perplex me:
I sought not a one, yet I value them all.
Verily does this perplexity vex me,
But ne’er would I waste e’en a drop of this gall.
I wish to be rid of this cup so revolting.
God, with ev’ry draught, I am drinking in death.
Yet you have suffered a far worse assaulting,
And yet you are with me with every breath.
You sanctify me through the seasons of suff’ring.
When all else around me gives way, you remain.
God, ‘gainst the enemy, you are my buff’ring,
And you will redeem ev’ry moment of pain.

Prayer of Pursuit

O Father, let me never be
A hindrance to your plan for me,
But grant me, Lord, the eyes to see
The roads you’d have me travel.
And strengthen me to follow thee
By sun or star, by land or sea
Until the day I fin’lly flee
This world of grit and gravel.

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Sharpening

How can I comfort those who mourn
Unless I learn to mourn myself?
For fellowship with those forlorn,
I must be taken from the shelf.
For there I sat so safe and calm,
But there I also gathered dust.
If this, my life, would be a balm,
Then I must learn that God is just
Not just in times of peace and rest,
But in my sorrow, sickness, strife.
If I would follow heaven’s best,
I will not have an easy life.
But through my broken heart, he speaks,
And through my suff’ring, Christ is seen.
If soon, with death, my body reeks,
My soul, by grace through faith, is clean.
So why would I avoid the pain
If, through the turmoil, faith is grown?
The struggle leads to priceless gain
As man’s despair is overthrown.
All things do work together for
The good of those He called in love,
And though we walk the road of war,
God reigns in sov’reignty above.

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Count It All Joy

Oh how quickly we abandon
Our morality and will
When, to our complete confusion,
Circumstances strike us ill.
Ill-advised is our rebellion,
Yet the rebel’s part we play:
From disciple into hellion
When the storm invades the day.
Can we not remember glory,
That our Lord has won the fight?
Do we yet forget the story?
Light has broken through the night!
Suffering is light and fleeting
When compared to Christ above.
No bereavement, bane, or beating
Breaks the grip of God’s great love.
Persecution serves to purge us.
Suffering now sanctifies.
We are bought by Christ’s own purchase,
Seeing now with open eyes.
Therefore, we count joy our sorrow,
Singing praise in deepest pain.
Should we face our death tomorrow,
Even this is wond’rous gain.

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The Journey

“Further up and further in”
Thus our wand’ring feet must go
Answer “Yes” or answer “No”
Let the journey now begin
Enter now this holy bond
Heaven’s Son lifts up your face
Faultless ‘fore the throne of grace
Father calls and we respond
Whether by our sprint or schlep
We must mount the heights today
There is help along the way
Do not lose your heart or step
Trust the holy Trinity
Evermore in him abide
He will never leave your side
God has won the victory

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Questions

Is God still good when I have been so wrong?
Or when I’m wronged, does love still win the day?
I read that he’s been with me all along,
But can it be when pain and sorrow stay?
Or might it be that his exalted might
Is meant not to pluck out but to uphold?
And could it be my eyes so weak of sight
Cannot perceive his plan of ages old?
Could he be working all things for my good
Although it seems that he is nowhere near?
Is this my furnace, this my cross of wood,
That shows me through my death that God is here?
How can I then bemoan the fiercest throes,
The holy forging, sanctifying blows?