My Dwelling Place

O LORD, You are my dwelling place,

But sometimes I will run away from home.

Among the empty, fruitless plains I roam—

And on I search, in vain, for something more.

//

But nothing better can be found—

In You, LORD, I have deepest joy and rest.

Home, home is where this longing soul is blessed,

And, satisfied, I dwell in You, content.

//

Contentment—oh, please take me back!

And I remember distant, better days

When I was taken up in awe-filled praise

Caught up in wonder—oh, to feel again.

//

I turn around, abandon quest

For something better, which does not exist

(Oh, what a fool I’ve been, to think it did!)

And, homeward, I retrace my backward steps.

//

At last, I see my heart’s Delight,

My Home—my God, my Love, my Joy, my Sight,

And filled with shame, I wonder if He might

Not welcome back this rebel runaway.

//

I could not be more wrong! For He

Comes running to me, holds me, won’t let go

This prodigal that He could now disown

Is welcomed back, with joy, into his Home.

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Enough

O heavy-laden soul, weighed down by a thousand failures,

Remember, that His grace abounds.

And His grace is enough—

Enough to bring to ruin

Every accusation,

Every lie,

And your fear of condemnation.

Enough to cover

Every fault, every misstep,

Every evil thought, every past regret.

O soul, don’t ever forget—

When He said “It is finished”,

He really, truly meant it.

Liberation

I feel the weight of this world upon my back,

It is too heavy for me to bear.

I look back on my early years,

Oh, those days when I was more free—

Curious about every little thing;

Learning about the world and how it works.

Oblivious to evil and immorality,

Not excessively burdened by stress, sin, or suffering.

That was me, back in the day—

Hardly a care in the world.

I didn’t know about murder and racism,

About poverty and dying people,

About spiritual warfare and the heaviness of sin

And all the hardships of life.

I was asleep, yet happy.

But why, when I reached adolescence,

Did the real world hit me so hard?

The knowledge of sin and suffering and evil came

And threatened to make me bitter,

Depressed, isolated, if I would allow it—

Causing me, in a panic, to build a fortress around my soul

So that nothing would hurt me.

I reached adulthood, it didn’t get easier.

The wall is still up, though I go through phases

Of tearing parts of it down, only to patch it up again

And I wish I could crumble it completely.

Where is the freedom I once had?

Where is my childhood innocence,

Not having a care in the world?

Why is the world such a scarier place?

Why did my life become so hard?

But, what if the loss of this so-called freedom,

This seeming innocence,

Was the means by which I would find another—

One new and more perfect?

Not a sort of “freedom” in which ignorance is bliss,

In which I am ignorant to the turmoil of this world,

But a difficult freedom, stripping me of happy oblivion

To open my eyes to the fact that I needed something more?

What if this seeming loss of freedom—

This introduction to pain and suffering—

Was indeed my liberation?

What if all the sleepless nights, the heavy battles,

The tears, the agony, the loneliness, the struggles—

Were the means by which I would at last be free?

What if Someone knew I needed Him,

And placed these hardships in my life so that I would find Him—

He, Who loves me with perfect love,

In Whom there is fullness of joy and fulfillment?

What if all the doubts and questions

Were what would cause me to dig deeper,

And to at last find what I am really looking for?

Because really, is oblivion freedom?

Is not knowing about sin freedom from it…

Or enslavement to it?

Is happiness actually happiness

If I am unaware of where I am headed?

…If I am hellbound?

And so I was, but didn’t know it.

So now I thank my God

For the loss of this jovial unconsciousness,

This falsely-happy sleep,

This intoxication of the mind,

And for using hardships and harsh realities

To tame my wandering soul

And bring me to Him, where I at last find freedom.

And although life is not easy,

And many battles will still be found

And many tears will still be shed

And many nights where I will lie awake…

This freedom that I have now—

Conscious of sin and darkness, yet, no longer a slave to it,

Aware of this world’s pain, yet bound for a new one,

Sorrowful, yet always rejoicing—

This is BETTER freedom.

A Rock

While stormy clouds come billowing

With anxious eyes I watch the sky

And think I cannot outwit this

Approaching tempest, and I cry—

for help! because my shelter is

A flimsy structure, built on sand

And if I hide in it, the rains

Will not let this poor shelter stand.

And then it comes, the waters drench

My skin, and I can’t take a breath

From all pressure coming down

Upon me—Oh, it feels like death.

This weary rain, these fearful winds,

That shake the soul and chill the skin.

This storm! Will I come through alive?

These winds! This rain! Will I survive?

And I cannot stand long enough

Until this downpour passes on.

So I collapse beside a rock,

The one firm thing to lean upon.

And it occurs to me that I

Had never thought it best to hide

Within the clefts of this large cave,

Where I’d be sheltered, dry, and safe.

Though strength is weak, I climb this mount

And soon escape the deathly fount

And safe at last, I wait until

The storm clouds clear, and all is well.

So may I never trust again

In shelters built on shifting sand,

But, Rock of Ages, cleft for me,

Oh, may I hide myself in Thee.

O, Soul

O soul, well-worn and weary,

Please, hide your woes no longer.

God gave you others to fight with you,

And help you to be stronger.

So struggle by yourself no more,

Don’t bear it on your own.

They say strength lies in number.

Don’t fight this war alone.

 

©MaddieThePoet2016

To The Hopeless Heart

O hopeless heart, you’ll never know

How many times I weep for you

And pray the you would see the light

That all your woes would be made right.

 

Your world it seems to fall apart

But there is One who knows your heart–

He’ll pull you up out of the dark

The night will flee; a new day start.

 

I know your pain won’t seem to cease,

But look to Christ! Because He sees

Your pain; knows what you’re going through.

So turn to Him.  He’ll carry you.

 

©MaddieThePoet, 2016

Wonders

The beauty of a starlit sky,

an owl’s lonely lullaby,

The way a sleeping mind can dream,

The music of a bubbling stream.

A friend’s smile, warm and oh so dear,

And kind words from a heart sincere,

The way a person can create,

How soul and body can relate.

 

All these things, and many more,

Are made by our great Creator

For us to wonder at, and see

The glory of His Majesty.

For He created all these things

For us, that praise to Him we’d bring.

For all these merely give a glimpse

Of just how beautiful God is.
©MaddieThePoet, 2015