If you, LORD, withhold no good thing,
I must believe this present sting
Is evidence of providence,
A chance to give an offering.
My hopes and plans I humbly bring,
Releasing all, surrendering
To better sense your immanence
Within the shadow of your wing.
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Haunted by the fear of what comes after
That hard resignation of all hoping
In all plans of mine, the feeble groping
For a road that will not warrant laughter.
Rip a wall down and remove a rafter–
So it feels when dreams begin to crumble.
“All is lost!” – the thought when you but stumble.
Can we lose and not despair thereafter?
Faith and patience: bittersweet but proven.
Bitter, for they bid us leave our hiding
In the safety of our sight and timing.
Sweet, for we, though limited, yet move in
Sov’reignty’s provision, e’er abiding
In his goodness, t’ward him ever climbing.
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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.
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I neither like nor understand your “no,”
Yet neither are required for me to trust
That you make straight the way I am to go
E’en when desires give way to thirst and dust.
If you withhold no good thing from your own,
Then your withholding must be for the best.
I may feel I am utterly alone;
I know you have a purpose for this test.
The LORD will never fail. Thus it is joy
To walk the path of sorrow for a time.
The surest hope, none ever can destroy.
No valley deep can halt the upward climb.
Your love holds fast despite what eyes can see,
Thus sight always defers to faith in thee.
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I know that he is good but do not know
What form his goodness in this time will take.
My sight is bound by barriers below.
I cannot feel the healing in the break.
Bear up, my soul. Remember all the ways
He proved his faithfulness in ev’ry test.
You do not need to see beyond the haze
In order to partake in perfect rest.
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Be still, and still be creature.
He still knows ev’ry feature of your soul.
Time is a trying teacher,
But tender is the one still in control.
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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.
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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?
I’m afraid of the prayer I just prayed.
I’m afraid that you might answer it.
But I’m also afraid of this season I’m in.
And you’re here with me now, and you’ll be with me then.
And I know, one day, I’ll get through it
And be thankful for prayers that I prayed.
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