Faith in Trials

Poetry

Can I believe what You say to me in the midst of my brokenness?

Will I believe Your promises when life feels like one big mess?

Can I trust your plans for me to fulfill a holy destiny

When trials get the best of me and everything looks different than it ought to be

Let the vision of my heart be unchanging

No matter what goes on around me

Let my faith be not swayed no matter what I face.

For You are good, loving and faithful

You’re the One truth I can fully embrace.

James: 1: 2-4, ESV

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.

All That’s Left

Poetry

What do you do when the truth
is harder to accept than the lie
What do you do after years of crying out
with no reply
Your faith is shattered,
answers seem to point you the other way
And those you’ve looked to for answers
turn away

What do you do when speaking truth gets you nowhere
When burdens become too great to bear
When even your loved ones turn against you
And your best attempts still lead nowhere

No earthly answers suffice what I see
And the only good left in me
Is this little seed of faith
I hang onto with all my might
Clinging tightly to it
I fully surrender my life.

Toothbrushes and Trusting

Analogies

I got a new toothbrush. It’s a very good Power toothbrush with a pressure sensor, timer and 2 intensity settings. I can feel such a difference with my teeth using this one compared to a cheapy store bought standard toothbrush. But, there was a learning curve when I first started using it. I was so used to doing all of the “heavy lifting” with my old toothbrush, I found myself still asserting a lot of pressure. I was used to using my own force to scrub hard and get those teeth sparkly clean. But, with this new toothbrush, if you push too hard on it, it vibrates to warn you the pressure is too hard. So, I let up to not wear down the bristles and let the rotating toothbrush head do it’s work. The power behind the toothbrush does not need my added pressure. Angle the toothbrush right and glide it along all four quadrants and wah-lah, super clean teeth!

This process, of course, led me to think isn’t that like learning to trust in God? We get so used to working out of our own efforts and power, that when we are given God’s limitless and effective power, we still don’t know (or have to learn) how to let go and trust in the sufficiency of His power. If we continue trying to exert too much of our own pressure, it wears down our faith the same way it wears down the bristles on my toothbrush. Instead, we can hold on with a comfortable grip and trust in His design to love and care for His children. We can trust Him to get into the crevices that need cleaning and polish us until we are shining. And He does all of this as we put our trust in Him, His unmatched power, sufficiency and grace.

2 Corinthians 12:9 “But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness.’  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”

The Cost of Faith

Poetry

But what will it cost me, Lord?

Just trust me and believe.

What price will I pay?

Pick up your cross and follow Me.

You will not say what I may lose or gain

You only promise this path

will bring glory to Your name.

You promise heavenly treasures

I’ll be shown

And it will surpass all other paths

I have known.

Matthew 16:24

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.”

You Will Sea

Poetry

We’re getting closer to the sea

Torrential waves and armies surround

Our hearts now feeling the fear

That Your promises will not be found

Were our steps not led

By Your Sovereign hand?

Was our destruction

The goal of Your plan?

Oh, why bring us this far

Just to watch us fall?

But a voice reassures us

That’s not You at all.

So we take a step in faith

Our last option before defeat

And before us appears dry land

Where once was only rough sea.

“Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the Lord drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided.” Exodus 14:21

Wounds That Heal

Poetry

I needed conviction
It was given through pain
I needed correction, which came
as I lost all I thought I had gained.

Proverbs 20:30

Stripes that wound scour away evil,
And strokes reach the innermost parts.

Job 5:18

For He inflicts pain, and gives relief; He wounds, and His hands also heal.

Sinner’s Prayer

Poetry

I can’t untangle the mess

I created with my bare hands

I come before You shattered

Hoping You will understand

I’m sorry I’ve taken grace

And used it as my shield

To do whatever I want

And consider sin no big deal

I’d like to turn away

From all my selfish ways

I’d like to start anew

And discover new life in You

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

Correction

Poetry

I see now this path

wasn’t meant to be mine

And now it’s time to go.

Please reassure me today

That Your Hand is still here

and in control.

Proverbs 19: 20-21

20 Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise. 21 Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.

Discernment

Poetry

My name is discernment

Trust what I reveal and know

I show you the hidden things

You’d otherwise never be told

I show you opportunities for blessing

And how to count sorrow as joy

I whisper God’s wisdom 

Amid this world’s noise

I sense when something new is brewing

When it is time to block an attack

I sense calmness and times to be still

When to move on and when to hold back

I’m a gift, don’t ignore me

Shut me out or throw me away

Embrace me and listen

Trust what I say

Heavenly Father

Poetry

I woke up in love with You

I could see Your face

I could see Your hand guiding me

Through even this dark place

Your children are never forgotten

Never out of Your sight

Your plans are still in motion

To turn all this wrong into right

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

Romans 8:28 NIV

Maybe

Poetry

In some ways, I’m covered in my shame

In others, I sit comfortably in it

I’m beautiful and ugly

Holy and a wreck

I have grand visions

To heal the world

Yet, I stand still

Unable to take even the smallest step

I get filled up with love

Then act out on fear

I’m lead to a grand vision of faith

Yet find myself back here

Each day, in little ways

Maybe the tiniest movement will do

Choosing to do things different

Moving me closer to You

Sacred Love

Poetry

Each day I get up

Let me choose joy

Let me find my faith

Above the noise

Let me rest there

And live

In the sacred

Love you give

That offers hope

Offers healing

Gives my life meaning

That is the love

You give

Psalm 91:4

He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

Divine Guidance

Poetry

You will make a way through this uncertain road

You’ll clear a path and illuminate my stepping stones.

Where will you take me? You will not say.

Only that you love me and you know the way.

Along the path my Lord leads me, whispering as we go.

Invisible safety embraces me disguised as a “not now” or a “no”.

Holding me to say “wait”, releasing me when it’s time to go.

Where he is leading me, I don’t yet need to know.

One at a Time

Poetry

One step at a time

One day, one choice

One action and moment

One prayer, one Voice

Matthew 6:34

KJV 34Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

NIV 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Still Waters

Poetry

I see this is by Your hand.

Though not all will understand

How You’ve led me into

Your promised land

The pasture is green

The waters so wide

A land flowing with honey

You there by my side

My soul is refreshed

My heart so content

Each labored step led

By divine Providence

Years in the storm

Now worth the wait

The desires that were born

The mistakes that were made

The changes that occurred

All through grace

Ushering me here

To this moment, this place

Psalm 23:1-6

1The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.

2He makes me lie down in green pastures,

he leads me beside quiet waters,

3he refreshes my soul.

He guides me along the right paths

for his name’s sake.

4Even though I walk

through the darkest valley, a

I will fear no evil,

for you are with me;

your rod and your staff,

they comfort me.

5You prepare a table before me

in the presence of my enemies.

You anoint my head with oil;

my cup overflows.

6Surely your goodness and love will follow me

all the days of my life,

and I will dwell in the house of the Lord

forever.

Battles, Laurels Won’t Do

Poetry

This is a spiritual battle

One with which I’ve fought before

But this time I know You better

I recognize this war

The battle between

believing and doubt

Between trusting in You

or trusting myself

I know my laurels won’t stand the test

My best decisions would find defeat

My greatest weapon is my faith in You.

My victory dependent upon my belief.

Alone Together

Poetry

When I see You, nothing else matters

When I feel You, the rest of the world disappears

When You gently whisper to me

Contentment replaces all my fears

Let me hear Your voice

Let me feel Your embrace

Let it just be me and You today

With Your voice comes purpose

Your perspective brings clarity

Your loving kindness brings no judgement

Your grace draws out the best in me

Let me hear Your voice

Let me feel Your embrace

Let it just be me and You today

Sing Out Loud

Poetry

1st song I wrote – 2002

You will know a tree by its fruit

Let the little children come to me

Open your heart to the Son of God

Jesus said follow and believe

Do unto others

As you do to yourself

Be patient, kind and long-suffering

Hope in the Lord oh my soul

Be thankful for the cross you hold

Sing out loud from my heart

Giving thanks to the One I know

Utterances I do not understand

All my love given to the Son of Man

Be still and know that I am God

I am working all things for your good

I am merciful, gracious and kind

Do not judge others, vengeance is mine

God in the flesh You came to be

You gave up Your life to die for me

How can I give You all I owe

When You deserve more than I’ll ever know

Sing out loud from my heart

Giving thanks to the One I know

Utterances I do not understand

All my love given to the Son of Man

Little Steps

Poetry

Every day I’m taking as many steps as I can

To get closer to my goals, closer to my plan

And I believe if each day I strive to progress

In time, each present challenge will find it’s rest.

Then a new season will be here.

All of this will be left behind.

And I’ll wonder how these answers

took so long to find

Victory

Poetry

I’ve seen the dark on the darkest of nights

I’ve seen the depth of my sin

I’ve seen the pain and endless pursuit

Of many beginnings and ends

Futile and fruitless

These attempts on our own

But we don’t have to do it alone

With You all things are possible

No enemy, no trap, no sin

Can hinder Your will, Your plan for us

So let the victory begin!

You unshackle chains

Unravel lies

Strengthen the weak

And the poor

You mend our hearts

Restore our vision

Show us the way

And open the door

With You all things are possible

No enemy, no trap, no sin

Can hinder Your will, Your plan for us

So let the victory begin!

Try

Poetry

Once upon a time I loved you

Then it all came undone

Before I’d look for you in the morning

Now from you to the nights I’d run

Talks I loved now drowned in silence

Your arms nowhere to be found

What ever happened and where did it go?

To this paper are we really bound?

The words start to trickle

A little at a time

The truth now painting a picture

Of what happened in this heart of mine

Why now? Why not then?

Are the angry words we can cry

But now is better than never

And we’ve got to give this a try

A try for us

A try for them

Walking in faith

Trusting in Him

Coming Out of the Dark

Poetry

Do I need to explore this cave

where all my darkness lies?

The entrance is so slippery

Yet has appeal, a clever disguise

Are there answers inside?

Anything I need to know?

How and when did it get here

This caveat inside my soul

Why have I always kept it up

Visited it, even made it my home!

There must be a comfort

In running back to the dark

It’s easy and familiar

Tempting me not to go too far

In the light, there is work to do

Challenges to face and overcome

Relationships need mending

Emotions become burdensome

But how will change occur

If I keep running back to my cave

Convincing myself there’s treasure there

Fooling myself to stay enslaved

There’s a whole new world

Outside this cave to explore

And once my eyes adjust

I’m sure I’ll be ready for more

A Prayer

Poetry

Thank You for seeing me

Knowing me

Loving me

Show me Your heart today

So I can love others the same way.

John 13:34

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.

Jeremiah 31:3

The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.

Turning Back to You

Poetry

I’ve doubted and scrutinized my faith

I’ve torn it to pieces

Looking for evidence, looking for proof

Asking for confirmation from You

 

So many days have passed with no answer

No miraculous light

Just the drone of my questions, sin’s pain

And this seemingly endless fight

 

Then I turned around away from my search

Back to the place I knew You were

All along there waiting for me to see

It was never You hiding, it was me

 

My doubt now dissolved in the wake of Your spirit

Your loving kindness carries me away

To a place I’m reminded of Your truths

To a strengthened faith and a brand new day.

 

Lamentations 3:22-23

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.