I am afraid of silly stuff
I know to be not true.
I show my faith is largely fluff
When tests begin anew.
All fear that you are not enough
Stems from a faulty view.
When calm sea waters become rough,
I take my eyes off you.
I want to walk with hope though there be sadness.
I want to be at peace though there be war.
I want to remain sober in the madness.
I want to trust, not knowing what’s in store.
I want my life to testify to blessings
Surpassing the self-pity that I feel.
I want to stand in spite of second-guessings.
I want my love to be alive and real.
I want my joy to show through circumstances,
Joy drawn not from my circumstance or sight.
I want my setbacks to serve your advances,
That, in the darkness, I reflect your light.
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.
Thanks to Maci for her feedback on this poem.
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.
Why do you want to write?
Our words divide. They rend each other’s souls.
The Word rends our division, offers peace
To war-torn hearts that long for true release
From slavery, from talk’s eternal tolls.
Our words deceive. They prove our father well.
The Word destroys deception in his wake
And takes e’en death’s ability to take
That souls may surely hope to ‘scape from hell.
Our words decay. They cannot help but fade.
The Word will never not be, shall endure
Should sea and sky be shaken. He is sure,
Salvation for the burdened and afraid.
Lord, teach our tongues, if e’er we speak, to be
Tamed by the Truth, to ever echo thee.
Bitterness inhabits me,
Burns within these weary bones,
Breaks the heart’s song, shifts the key —
Melodies to monotones.
Feelings fixate on frustrations,
Fast forgetting joy and peace.
Anger turns to accusations
As emotions seek release.
Father, temper this, my temper,
Tossed midst waves of woes and whims.
Devastate my vile distemper.
Heal my heart through holy hymns.
Christ has borne more suffering,
Bears me up in all I face.
Make of me an offering.
Let me ever sing of grace.
Have you ever caught yourself arguing a point not because you believed it but because you wanted to win a debate?
We live in a culture of busy Christians. I read stories of the stresses of pastoral ministry driving pastors away from the church and into sinful lifestyles. I hear the struggles of my fellow seminarians as they attempt to juggle the demands of school and ministry and work, often walking the edge of burnout as they long for rest. I understand the weight of many responsibilities, often feeling both burdened by the load yet unable to slow down. We whose lives are marked by busyness would do well to remind ourselves of Jesus’s words on the subject of obedience.