The Lord who is my shepherd knows my path

The Lord who is my shepherd knows my path.
When I was lost in darkness, he was there
With purposes of love and not of wrath,
Compassionate and kind and full of care.
He knew how long the wandering would last
And all that would be lost along the way.
He sets all seasons—future, present, past—
Sustaining through the night, bringing the day.
Our Lord is always working, always good,
Always aware of us, our faults, our haste.
Before him, we are always understood,
And with him, there is never any waste.
We make our messes. He is not surprised.
His purposes will still be realized.


Photo by Lili Popper on Unsplash

When You Grow Anxious

When you grow anxious at the sense of haste
Accomp’nying the work that you must do
And worry all your work will be a waste,
You overlook some truths that still hold true.
Your urgent need in urgency is peace
Found not in ragged running but in rest.
Responsibility includes release
Of self and circumstances. God knows best.
And so you must walk slowly, taking time
As if it is a gift and not a curse,
And find your joy within the steady climb,
Steadfast should things grow better or grow worse.
The times you feel most restless, then be still,
Held by the God who rests and his good will.


Photo by Colin Lloyd on Unsplash

Light Remains

God said, “Let there be light,” and so it was.
And thus it has continued to this day.
Night threatens darkness, but it never does
Persist. The deepest shadow fades away.

God said, “Let there be Light.” A Son was born,
And truth and beauty shone throughout the land.
Self-blinded men loved death, but still the morn
Arrived. Christ rose and raised dry bones to stand.

God said, “Let there be light,” and I could see
As love cut through all lies with things more true.
My love is weak. He knows and still calls me
His own. The old has passed, and I am new.

We have this hope when grieved by present pains:
When God shines light in darkness, light remains.


Photo by Dyu – Ha on Unsplash

When I Look Back

When I look back, I do not see successes.
At least, I do not see them easily.
Instead, I see a mind that second-guesses
And find that failure fits more feasibly.
When I look back, I do not see your mercies,
Or seeing them, still feel they are not true.
All good seems covered up in controversies,
In all the ways I failed and still fail you.
When I look back, I see the circumstances
That roll like waves across a wind-swept sea.
I do not see the Son, the second-chances,
The grace that still abounds for those like me.
When I look back, I must distrust the lies
That claim truth is determined by my eyes.


Photo by Will Swann on Unsplash

Untitled, March 25, 2021

I fear you are a disappointed Father,
For I am just an ever-failing son.
My life should be a blessing, not a bother.
I should be held together, not undone.

O Lord, correct my misconceptions of you
And all my misconceptions of myself.
Help me to truly know you and to love you
And in so doing know and love myself.


Photo by K. Mitch Hodge on Unsplash

I remember feeling off the morning I originally posted this poem. I went for a run to try to shake the feeling, but it wouldn’t fade. I thought I needed to take the poem down, so I did, then I didn’t post on the blog again until July 22, 2022, over a year later.

Shortly after I started posting again, I started thinking about finding this poem and sharing it. Now that I know it was OCD leading me to take it down initially, I feel free to share it. And as I read it now, I see two things of interest. First, I see a snapshot of my mind and heart in the early stages of an OCD flareup. I’d already hurt and confused some friends, and I was struggling to make sense of life in the midst of a difficult and busy season. While this was not written during the worst of my experiences, the first stanza here captures my thoughts and feelings during the struggle pretty well.

Second, I see a prayer that I believe God has answered, one that he’s continuing to answer as I continue to learn and grow in my walk with him. While things would get worse before they got better, God used the journey to reveal some underlying issues that needed to be addressed. He was at work through the entire season, and through the processing and work done with a mentor, he’s taught me more about himself and about myself. I believe I now can recognize many of the misconceptions about God and about myself that I lived with for years, and I now believe I can better know and love him and myself. I think God’s answered this prayer in ways I couldn’t have imagined when I wrote it.

When I read this poem, I see evidence of God’s grace. He saw me at my worst. He heard my prayer. He delivered me. This is the story told by all who know him, the story presented in the Bible and echoing on for all eternity. The Lord saves. Blessed be his name.

Change and Constancy

The train is now departing.
I stand upon the platform and I wonder,
Did I choose rightly when I chose to stay?
Is this the better way?
What life would now be starting
If I had stepped aboard and joined the thunder
Of racing steel and distant storms, away
From where I stand today?

But who could say?

Life is a series of decisions,
Of written words without revisions.
I wish I never made mistakes.
I often do.
Yet on clear tracks and in collisions,
You meet our needs with good provisions.
Through all that mends and all that breaks,
You remain you.


Photo by Stefan Kunze on Unsplash

Note: A quick Google search revealed that the line “Life is a series of decisions” has been used in many other works. While I didn’t have any specific source in mind when I decided to use that line, I recognize that the wording isn’t original to me.

Sometimes

Sometimes,
Faith is stillness in the quiet
When you begin to question
Whether or not
You heard his directions correctly
Before.
When doubts grow loud
In the absence of his voice,
When fear fills the silence,
When the once clear call
Is suddenly less clear
And you cannot discern his purposes,
He is still God.
Hold fast.
Wait.
Worship.
Hope.


Photo by Nazar Hrabovyi on Unsplash