Some hopes are dashed upon the throne of grace, Are lifted up in pray’r to be denied. And though it seems the Father hides his face, We need not fear that he will not provide. But his provision oft is of a kind Perceived unkind while in the midst of loss. What he deems “need” is diff’rently defined. Sometimes the crown is traded for the cross. But crosses borne in faith will always form Our souls as needed, so we need not fret. His grace suffices for the fiercest storm. None who trust full in him shall feel regret. But it is faith—not sight—that shows the way. God is our shepherd. We need ne’er dismay.
As Hopkins saw, your grandeur does not pale, Does not diminish though we sin and stain Ourselves and earth. We work in pride and pain. And through it all, your purposes prevail. How can it be that we, so foul and frail, Do not exhaust your grace? For grass and grain And goodness still persist. You give us rain And wrap us in provision. Though we fail To follow, you forgive and give us love, Your character conveyed in ev’ry sign And ev’ry word, a freshness undefiled. Decay, despair, and death touch not the dove Who brings in darkness brightness so divine And choicest comforts for the fearful child.
This poem was inspired by Gerard Manley Hopkins’s poem “God’s Grandeur,” drawing on some of his themes and imagery and asking some further questions.
Love displayed in life laid down for others.
Joy surpassing all this earth can offer.
Peace before both enemies and brothers.
Patience with the doubter and the scoffer.
Kindness to all creatures in creation.
Goodness shining brightly through corruption.
Faithfulness becomes our firm foundation.
Gentleness endures despite disruption.
Self-control o’er all the flesh’s passion.
Self-deni’l, a daily crucifixion.
Faith e’er growing more in holy fashion.
Truth proclaimed with notes of heaven’s diction.
Spirit, lead our walking, guide our living.
Let the world see you in our thanksgiving.
The presence of my shepherd is my peace.
His goodness to me day by day, my song.
His love for me bids all my worries cease.
He over ev’ry enemy is strong.
I lack no needed thing, for he is here
In deepest darkness as in brightest light.
Amid my enemies, I do not fear,
For God, my father, watches through the night.
No storm or sword or snake can separate
My soul from the Almighty’s sov’reign grasp.
This body may decay, these doubts berate –
Still I remain within my father’s clasp.
True life is life lived at the shepherd’s side.
I make it thus my aim to there abide.
The Israelites were a hardheaded bunch of characters. I’ve been reading through the early books of the Bible (I just recently started on Deuteronomy), and I’ve noticed that the Israelites seem to rarely be content. No matter their situation, they always want something more. When they are miraculously delivered from captivity, they complain that their food situation isn’t adequate. When God miraculously provides bread, they complain that they don’t have meat. When God miraculously provides meat, they soon begin to complain that they’re tired of the meat. Throughout the wilderness wandering (which came about due to the people’s disobedience), Israel shows herself to be a fussy people. Continue reading →
Thank you for your grace in sending
Clouds and rain to cool the day.
Thank you for your love unending,
God who listens when we pray.
Thank you that your love is founded
Not in what this man can bring;
In your life my own is grounded.
Of the cross and grave I sing.
Thank you for a hope unfailing,
For a future sealed and sure.
When my soul this world is ailing,
By your Word I will endure.
Let me always seek your glory,
Yours the Name that reigns alone.
Use my life to tell your story
Till I stand before your throne.