Contentment is not found within a lack
Of ev’ry good and perfect gift bestowed,
For some with no possessions answer back,
Embittered by what ne’er to them was owed.
Contentment is not found in much excess,
In temp’ral pleasures, comforts of this earth,
For some see all their wealth as somehow less
Than adequate to validate their worth.
The secret lies not in the circumstance
But in the hope held by the seeking soul.
Events tempt t’ward despair or bid us dance.
In both extremes, the Lord retains control.
Nothing in history has e’er sufficed
To satisfy our souls save only Christ.
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash
Thanks to Maci for her feedback on this poem.
My friend Atley and I watched Brightburn on Saturday (warning: spoilers ahead). We both enjoyed the movie, but we noticed that the movie left us feeling a bit gross. Granted, that’s not uncommon for horror movies, especially in an age when the horror genre seems to lean heavily on gratuitous violence or sexual content to capture attention. I typically don’t enjoy (or view) such movies. But Brightburn was different. While Atley and I pointed to a few instances of unnecessary gore in the movie, Brightburn left us uncomfortable not because of what it included but because of what it lacked.
When bothered, I am often prone to blither
About how I must work, my faith to prove.
A mustard seed’s supply of faith can weather.
I scarce can muster e’en a trace thereof.
I do not wish to see the fig tree wither.
I do not long to make the mountain move.
But I desire today a shorter tether.
Lord, help my unbelief and lack of love.
Photo by Sajjad Ahmadi on Unsplash
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil.
Have you ever tried to stop leaning on your own understanding? It isn’t like avoiding other temptations. In many situations, you can avoid giving into temptation by avoiding the object upon which your temptation fixates. When tempted to overeat, you can set limits for yourself and avoid keeping food nearby. When tempted to look at things you know you shouldn’t look at online, you can set up content filters on your devices. But how do you avoid leaning on your own understanding when you can’t avoid your mind or heart?
My boy, beware the moral poverty
Of those intent on feeding discontent.
The end of all their labor is lament.
They die in lust for blood and property.
Remain not an antagonist to truth
Nor love the follies of your fallen state.
You need not face the unrepentant’s fate,
For wisdom offers hope to humble youth.
Know well that you will never know as well
As he who rules reality with love,
So hallow him and turn a list’ning ear.
Invite instruction and commit to dwell
At wisdom’s fountainhead. Heed God above
And rest within a state of holy fear.
Photo by Joshua Fuller on Unsplash
There are truths I know yet struggle to believe.
You know all my struggles, yet you never leave.
Photo by Anton Darius | @theSollers on Unsplash
Matthew tells us the rich young man “went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions” (Matthew 19:22). When told to sell what he had and to give to the poor, he walked away, leaving the opportunity of eternity for his earthly kingdom. Perfection, it seems, cost too much.
I’m afraid of the prayer I just prayed.
I’m afraid that you might answer it.
But I’m also afraid of this season I’m in.
And you’re here with me now, and you’ll be with me then.
And I know, one day, I’ll get through it
And be thankful for prayers that I prayed.
Photo by Jace & Afsoon on Unsplash