I will endure

I don’t know when this storm will pass

But there’s one thing I know for sure:

That Christ my Lord will hold me fast

And in His hands I will endure.

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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.

Petals

I was a young and flow’ring tree,

With branches clothed so gracefully

with blossoms white and pink, that swell

With beauty, bearing pleasant smell.

 

At least that’s how things used to be—

Till change did overtake this tree.

Somewhere a Psalm says flowers fade*.

As seasons pass, so did my state.

 

One day the sun misplaced its glow,

And mid-May winds began to blow.

For summer, spring was making way;

My flowers, sadly, wouldn’t stay.

 

I saw my first few petals fall;

With balding blooms I stood appalled

As gusts of wind would carry off

The beauty I was so proud of.

 

It humbled me, stripped me of pride,

As I watched several flowers die—

Small heads, of petals quite bereft.

But then I still had many left…

 

Still, just like rain, the petals drop

Quite ceaselessly—they hardly stop.

The wind dies down, yet still they fall—

Will there be any left at all?

 

I feel much lighter than before…

But can these branches take much more?

This loss of beauty, stripped of charm?

Why must this wind do so much harm?

 

But… is it harm? Or is it grace?

Oh, could it be that this disgrace

Is just the means to better ends?

The gravity** this tempest sends?

 

Clouds thick with rain extract their tears

As I do mine, while standing here,

Bare, shivering, my blossoms gone.

But soon storms cease; I see the sun—

 

Dispelling darkness, causing sight

To see, where once stood pink and white,

On wind-blown branches, evidence

Of fruit beginning its existence.

 

And so I see. The wind was grace—

Although it for a time defaced

One type of beauty, I would meet

One just as beautiful and sweet.

 

©MaddieThePoet, 2017.

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