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.
Photo by Alina Chupakhina on Unsplash
I do not trust my heart,
These feelings, these desires,
For though they, at the start,
Resemble warming fires,
They turn to fun’ral pyres.
So teach me to aspire
For your refining fire,
And, for your glory, start
Me t’ward a pure desire,
One after your own heart.
Photo by Noah Silliman on Unsplash
Wait for him, my soul,
Overwhelmed though you may be.
Trust him when you cannot see.
He is in control.
This will play a role.
Though you long to fight or flee,
Still your heart and bend your knee.
He will make you whole.
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Beware the traps of trappings.
Beware the lies of looks.
Appearances may not reflect the heart.
‘Neath many modest wrappings
Lie hearts ensnared by hooks.
Deception is a most devilish art.
Photo by Alberto Bobbera on Unsplash
Have you ever felt that you could not, in good conscience, sing a specific worship song?
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When I read that “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9), I often focus on the “desperately sick” aspect, recognizing the darkness of the human heart. But I don’t always consider the rest of the verse. Jeremiah also writes that the heart is deceitful above all things, asking, “Who can understand it?” The heart defies understanding by men. We do not know ourselves like we think we do. Thankfully, as Jeremiah shows, God searches the hearts and tests the minds of men, knowing us better than we know ourselves (Jeremiah 17:10).
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Your word: my great undoing, my delight.
I fear to look within, yet fear to stray,
For fear of you (sweet wisdom) shines a light
Upon my path and forces me to say
That I know not my heart or mind so well
As I assumed. This flesh doth e’er deceive.
No strength of will nor want could ever quell
Its tenor regnant. I cannot relieve
My soul from waywardness, for I am bound.
In ev’ry song I sing, I hear its sound.
Discern, speak truth, correct! Let me be found!
You see more clearly than I ever could
And cut more deeply than I wish you would.
I know that all of this is for my good.
Photo by Cathy Mü on Unsplash
We may not sense the abnormality,
For our appearance does not show the flaw;
But let us look within and we will see
A core not in accord with natural law.
Our symptoms show themselves in varied ways,
Outward effects which hint at inner fault.
All people, fixed and fallen, offer praise,
But differ in the objects they exalt.
And thus most men believe that they are whole,
For they, with eyes untrained, cannot detect
The devastating sickness in the soul
Which works to their eternity infect.
Our only hope is heaven’s holy art,
The surgeon who can fix a backwards heart.
Photo by Samuel Zeller on Unsplash
Christ upon the tree
Christ in place of me
Bearing heaven’s righteous wrath
Sacred Son’s blood: cleansing bath
Salvaging my heart for thee
Clarified the path
Photo by Hugues de BUYER-MIMEURE on Unsplash
Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name.
I read and re-read this verse multiple times after running across it in my devotional time. I love the wording here for its poetic sound and feel. I love the imagery within the prayer. Even so, my mind kept returning to a question: What does it mean for a heart to be united?
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