Lost and wounded, weary, worn.
Nor forgotten. Not forlorn.
In the breaking, hope is born
Fresh and new.
Feeling shattered. Feeling shorn.
Stretched past limits; still untorn.
Mercy meets the ones who mourn
Like the dew.
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
I love the book of James. I’ve spent more time in this little book than I’ve spent in many other places in Scripture, and I’ve found that further study and meditation often leads to fresh discoveries within the text. Even after years of reading these same words, I keep finding new things. The discoveries aren’t always comforting, though.
How many little moments will we find
Were not without significance at all
But were the subtle graces of a kind
Untarnished by the twistings of the fall?
How many hours of testing will reveal
Themselves to be the reasons for our joys?
How many wounds will show they served to heal?
How many pains upset the serpent’s ploys?
How many seasons thought to have no end
Did end one day with mercy fresh and new?
How many things seemed only to offend
But deepened both my love and faith in you?
How often is there more than eyes can see?
How little do we understand of thee.
Please help me, LORD, to pass this test,
To wait within this purging flame
In faith that you know what will best
Exalt your holy name.
Correct all misdirection of
My wants until my will fits thine,
My soul steeped long in faith and love,
A branch bound to the vine.
To be where one is present with no thought
For how one might escape the present state.
To hold that one is held when one feels caught.
To feel the urge to run yet still to wait.
To know that his provision is enough,
His grace sufficient for the task at hand.
To recognize the road indeed is rough
And follow still with faith in his command.
To seek his reign and righteousness above
The chasing of all momentary needs.
To trust that ev’ry test is ruled by love.
In darkest valleys, still the Shepherd leads.
From worry and comparison refrain;
His sov’reignty and purposes remain.
What is God doing in my life? And why?
O clarifying lack of clarity,
O beauty of this brief bewilderment,
O need that drives me to the firmament,
Grow faith in unfamiliarity.
Let suff’ring sear my sin but not my soul,
The stone-turned-flesh be softened by the flame
And purified of all not for the name,
That what is partial now would be made whole.
Endurance marks the path to character,
And character to unashamèd hope,
Sure of the unseen God by his seen grace.
We know in part, see but a car’cature
Till faith’s perspective (holy periscope)
Becomes our sight and we see face to face.
Thanks to Milly for her feedback and suggestions during the writing of this poem.
When bothered, I am often prone to blither
About how I must work, my faith to prove.
A mustard seed’s supply of faith can weather.
I scarce can muster e’en a trace thereof.
I do not wish to see the fig tree wither.
I do not long to make the mountain move.
But I desire today a shorter tether.
Lord, help my unbelief and lack of love.