Your word: my great undoing, my delight.
I fear to look within, yet fear to stray,
For fear of you (sweet wisdom) shines a light
Upon my path and forces me to say
That I know not my heart or mind so well
As I assumed. This flesh doth e’er deceive.
No strength of will nor want could ever quell
Its tenor regnant. I cannot relieve
My soul from waywardness, for I am bound.
In ev’ry song I sing, I hear its sound.
Discern, speak truth, correct! Let me be found!
You see more clearly than I ever could
And cut more deeply than I wish you would.
I know that all of this is for my good.
Photo by Cathy Mü on Unsplash
I read Paul’s promise that God causes all things to work together for good for his people, and I think of Joseph. He recognized God’s divine purposes at work throughout the evil actions of his brothers, and, in so doing, he became a living example of the truth Paul later proclaims (Genesis 50:20; Romans 8:28). No act, however evil, can thwart God’s sovereign purpose; he can use “all things” (Romans 8:28). When I consider this truth, I tend to associate the promise with the externals of life, which leaves me to wonder if the promise also rings true for the internals. I know God works through even the vilest of events which afflict us; does he work through our sorrow as well?
For what do I wait when I wait?
Do I lack the strength to complete
The journey before me? Does fate
Require more merit? Oh, this heat
Makes me restless. How long must I
Stay, unmoving as the process
Purifies me of worldly dye?
How long, O Lord? For I confess
I long to run. This surgery
May mend, but how it hurts me so!
I wonder, would you murder me
To purge the sin which lives below?
(Perhaps tis so.)
When can I go? When will this end,
This sanctification, this flame?
You who eternally transcend
My thoughts and ways, your holy name
Is both my hope and bane. I break
Before your unrelenting hand
Which works to my foundations shake
Until I trust in your command.
So have your way in me, I pray.
Though I may never comprehend
Your purpose, let me near you stay,
O God, the absolute, my end.
Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash
Do sinking ships feel fear as they descend,
Or do they resolutely meet their end?
Do they imagine all that then is lost,
And measure meaning by the final cost?
Do they, as waves wash over them, regret
The course that led them to the final debt?
Or can they see, when all seems lost, the role
That they will serve just past the ocean’s shoal?
For they, in stillness, serve to make a home
For all who in the waters deep do roam.
And they, like buried treasure, can preserve
The stories of the ones they once did serve.
They seem to fail, yet still they meet a need;
And maybe, in this knowledge, they are freed.
Photo by Armando Castillejos on Unsplash
I strive to walk not by my sight
But by my faith, for such is right;
But sight so terrifies my soul
For I am never in control.
My will is weak, my focus frail;
My future hope, in them, is pale.
My understanding fails to find
A footing, for my eyes are blind.
When all around me calls for fear,
To gospel truth I turn my ear.
God still is on his throne above,
Still steadfast in his perfect love,
His pow’r to rule affected naught
By my imperfect, doubting thought.
No fear of failure, want of strength,
Nor any trial of any length
Can sever heaven’s holy grip
Upon my soul, this sinking ship.
I know, though I know not the path,
That God, in sov’reign mercy, hath
Made straight the road and called me to
His purpose, which is ever true.
Photo by Oscar Keys on Unsplash
Christ upon the tree
Christ in place of me
Bearing heaven’s righteous wrath
Sacred Son’s blood: cleansing bath
Salvaging my heart for thee
Clarified the path
Photo by Hugues de BUYER-MIMEURE on Unsplash
(Photo by Olivia Snow on Unsplash)
O Father, how I struggle so
To come before your throne.
In public, pray’r oft turns to show;
In private, how I drone.
Though you twice o’er gave life to me,
I come still wanting more –
Now knocking at your door.
Let thine own will alone be done,
And let thy kingdom come.
Let me in life reflect the Son,
To love, and be not numb.
Grant that my tastes are tempted not
By poverty nor wealth.
Peace and forgiveness, be my lot;
Humility, my health.
O Father who in heaven dwells
In holiness and light,
Keep me away from worthless wells,
From trusting in my might.
God, grant me eyes to recognize
Your grandeur and your grace.
Teach me to treasure you as prize,
And ever seek your face.
(Photo cred: Mitchell Martin – Instagram: @mitchellrmartin )
Within this world of fiction,
I yearn for heaven’s diction
To deepen my conviction.
I feel the present friction
From our great self-infliction,
And long for sin’s eviction.
Though strong the serpent’s striction,
He faces grave restriction
In all of his affliction.
For Christ, the great nonfiction,
God’s visible depiction,
Fulfilled the Word’s prediction.
Oh know your place, my soul.
Remember that your days are few.
To live with just this age in view.
Relinquish your control.
Eternal God most high,
Provide perspective to my days.
To live in conflict to your ways
As death draws ever nigh.
I take up pen and page to point to truth
And pray my purpose is not rendered vague.
I recognize my mind reveals my youth;
Lord, let me neither tarry nor stravage.
I am a humble runnel of your reign.
Use these my words like water to refresh.
And when I feel my writing is in vain,
Remind me that I do not write for flesh.
These poems need not please the multitude.
These words require no mortal praise nor fame.
These messages may never earn my food;
I pray they ever glorify your name.
I write to please the one who knows my end.
I offer these, my poems for the wind.