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.
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?
The moment passes, same as all the rest,
Save for an added weight, a seeming force.
Some see in it the ending of a test.
Some find in it the start of a new course.
We hope to lay aside all that is past
And welcome future’s possibilities.
We hope to make a change and make it last.
We often miss the forest for the trees.
For ev’ry day behind has led to now,
The good and bad both mingled in the soul.
Experience informs our present plod.
Find hope not in a momentary vow
But in the one who truly holds control.
Entrust this and all moments to your God.
Photo by Spenser Sembrat on Unsplash
If faith is an assurance, a conviction,
Then what is faith: an object or an action?
And what makes faith, according to depiction,
The only hope for holy satisfaction?
In days of old, our fathers knew your glory
And, knowing you, knew better their own measure.
Believing you would write the better story,
They walked by faith, and they received your pleasure.
Perhaps, then, faith is more than merely hoping;
Tis certainty of forthcoming salvation.
E’en in our darkest days, we are not groping
But standing, grounded in a sure foundation.
Faith knows its master, loves and fears his being.
This God, invisible, faith’s eyes are seeing.
Little children, keep yourselves from idols,
Works of our own hands. Voices–our voices–
Call us to cast off all righteous bridles,
Chastise us for limiting our choices.
Choose you then this day your lord, your master.
Choose the voice you trust above all others.
Choose the path to life, avoid disaster.
Heed the voice of reason, sisters, brothers.
Learn distrust of self, for self is often
Led astray by varied vices. Passions
Harden hearts to truth. Consciences soften,
Filled with fleshly fears and fleeting fashions.
Build upon the only sure foundation.
Idols only lead you to starvation.
Photo by Alexandre Chambon on Unsplash
Photo by Warren Wong on Unsplash
What do you do when you realize that your love for God is sub-par at best? How do you respond when you feel like you’ve forgotten how to pray? What steps do you take when you recognize a deficiency in your walk with the Lord, but you don’t know how to fix the problem?