Grant me the strength to do what honors you,
And let me ever be
A testament to what your grace can do.
Let ev’ry word I speak be pure and true
So others hear and see
My what, why, when, and how point to a who.
Shape the affections of this heart made new
And make them more like he
Who gave his life to rescue and renew.
God, teach my mind to never misconstrue
What you require of me,
To count the cost and see the journey through.
And let me be found faithful to the two-
Fold sum of your decree,
That love might be my story’s overview.
Photo by Eskil Helgesen on Unsplash
Let me be part of your story unfolding.
Make me remember I am not my own.
Batter my heart till, your glory beholding,
I defer all to your throne.
Photo by Ian Stauffer on Unsplash
This poem alludes to the poem “Batter my heart, three-person’d God” by John Donne. Look it up for more on the idea behind today’s poem.
Untrue stories still can teach us
Truths which shape our living stories.
Fiction’s mirror still may reach us
With eternal glories.
All reality is brimming
With more truth than can be spoken.
Still, too many minds are dimming.
Let yours be awoken.
Photo by Janko Ferlič on Unsplash
I had a lot on my plate that day. I’d chosen a seat in the student center so I could drink some coffee while I worked, and I was hoping I could avoid people long enough to get some work done. Typically, however, such attempts were unsuccessful, and that day was no exception.
The story of Jesus healing the paralyzed man in Mark 2 has long confused me.
Christ above my heart’s desire.
Christ above my timing.
Christ above all I aspire.
Christ above my rhyming.
Christ above my greatest fears.
Christ above all pleasures.
Christ above my future years.
Christ above all treasures.
Christ above my past mistakes.
Christ above my glory.
Christ above all earthly aches.
Christ above my story.
Christ above all toil and strife.
Christ above whatever.
Christ above this fleeting life
Now and to forever.
Photo by Sebastian Molina fotografía on Unsplash
In water did this story start,
In water did it end;
And water now reminds my heart
Of all the ways I sinned.
My brother-enemy arrived,
A gift born from the Nile.
Where others perished, he survived,
Vital’ty from the vile.
He learned our ways but kept his kin
Within his heart and will.
Seeing “injustice” ‘mongst his men,
He chose to act, to kill.
In fear he fled (I knew not where).
I thought him lost for good.
Then he returned with greying hair
And with a staff of wood.
“Freedom to worship” was his cry,
Presumpt’ous his request.
“Increase the work” was my reply,
And put his god to test.
Then came the signs, small at the first,
Then day by day they grew.
From blood to dark to death, the worst
Came to my home. I knew
My gods had each been overruled,
Their promises proved wrong.
I knew in them we had been fooled
When mourning was our song.
So I relented and released
The captives to the wild.
The land had rest. The plagues then ceased.
My reign had been defiled.
And so I brooded, plotted, chose
To turn around my loss,
And with a burning vengeance, rose
To catch before their cross.
And there I found them, easy prey,
Defenseless ‘gainst my might,
And I beheld his god that day
Work wonders in my sight.
Now all is lost. Now I depart.
My wisdom I rescind.
In water did his story start.
In water did mine end.
Photo by Ali Hegazy on Unsplash
Thanks to Dustin Hadley for the suggestion for today’s poem.
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.
I wonder what went through John’s mind as he sat in prison. He’d answered the call of the Lord in the wilderness, proclaiming the kingdom of God and baptizing the repentant (Luke 3:1-22). He’d prepared the way for the Messiah, introducing the Christ at the beginning of Jesus’s earthly ministry (John 1:29-36). He’d faithfully stood for righteousness in the face of Herod’s immorality (Matthew 14:4). And yet he found himself imprisoned. The crowds he once taught left him to follow Jesus (John 3:26). While John found joy in humbly playing his role in the bridegroom’s story (John 3:27-30), he seems to have struggled with doubt while in prison, for he sent some of his followers to Jesus to ask an important question.
(Photo cred: Jeremy Poe)
Yesterday, I posted some thoughts on singleness being a gift, not a curse. I believe those words, and I pray they serve you well, but I also recognize the power of testimony in this discussion. Knowing the theology behind a subject helps; hearing how a person applies that theology may help more. So today, I want to share my current situation along with some lessons I’ve learned in the last few years.