Poems, Personal Stories, and Observations

Posts tagged ‘faith’

Thank God for the Fleas

When my parents were World War II refugees, they lived in various Displaced Persons camps run by the U.S. and other Allies. Sometimes it would be so cold that there was frost on the INSIDE walls of their “accommodations”.   (I don’t know exactly what their living quarters were like,)  At some point in there, my older brother (a baby!), one paternal uncle, and my paternal grandmother also lived in the same camp(s). At least they had shelter!  Traumatic as it all was, thank you Allies (and, ultimately, God), for keeping my family alive!  Others, as you know, suffered considerably more: in concentration camps, in battles on land, sea, and sky, and elsewhere.

LIFE IS A GIFT! And, I’m so grateful to live in a home with heat and hot water.

Corrie ten Boom was in a concentration camp during World War II, because her family had hidden Jews in their home.  She decided to take seriously the Scripture, “… give thanks in all circumstances …” (1 Thessalonians 5:18), so she gave thanks for the fleas in her barracks.  Sooner or later, she learned that the guards would avoid her barracks as much as possible, because of the fleas.  In that way they did not get as much abuse as they might have.  Perhaps most of us are not as faith-filled as Corrie ten Boom, but there is certainly a lesson to learn from her.

War is probably horrific for everyone touched by it, but perhaps it’s appropriate to also remember the positives.

Why do some (or perhaps all of us) encounter great trials and tribulations?  I propose a few reasons here, several or all of which could occur together:

  1. We are being tested by God.  It can be an opportunity for growth, to trust in Him more.
  2. We are being chastised by God.  ” … for the Lord disciplines those whom He loves, and chastises every child whom He accepts.” (Hebrews 12:6).  This is a good thing, because it shows that God loves us enough to correct us.
  3. We are suffering for our own or other people’s poor choices.  We make bad decisions, or others take out their frustrations on us.
  4. It’s just part of the fallen human condition.  Because of original sin, we all suffer consequences such as illness, accidents, death, etc.

No matter the reason, we must trust that God is with us through these difficulties.  I don’t see any other reason to hope.

 

 

 

Leaning

With failure stamped across my brow,
In mercy I must trust somehow.
With guilt and sorrow so forlorn,
My trust in God must be reborn.

On only Him must I depend,
Else tragedy my soul will rend.
With Jesus I must place my fate,
His righteousness, His justice great.

If on myself I lean too hard,
Perhaps I’ll fall, like house of cards.
In Jesus will I now believe —
My soul to save, my angst relieve.

Resurrection Nearing

It’s really not your fault –
Perhaps my fated cross.
Some days I live in clinging fog;
I swim as if in thickest bog.

And yet I see a Light
That keeps me in the fight.
Won’t God His precious promise keep?
He’ll surely make my soul complete.

Poor thinking got me here –
Poor thinking, and much fear.
Must reconstruct my mind;
New truths I need to find.

And here’s were God comes in –
His life must grow within.
His Word I must digest
And of my fear divest.

The past I must let go;
The lies and fears forego.
The resurrection nears –
Let there be joyful tears!

I Must Believe

I must believe God’s faithful love,
Else madness will my soul o’ertake.
If on myself I fix my eyes,
Despair will be my sorry fate.

I must believe, though I could choose
An easier path; with tide to swim,
To let opinion rule my life
And let the light within me dim.

I must believe the words God speaks,
When worldly cares do contradict.
As storm does rage; no shelter found —
But in God’s boat, all grace begins.

I must believe, and then one day
A shining light will lead my soul.
No longer strife and stress to sway,
My life at last found healed and whole.

America’s Greatness

What made America great?
People with a faith, lived well —
Not those who merely said the words,
But from their lives, their faith would tell.

What made America great?
People who did persevere —
Through sickness, famine, poverty;
Through trials, hardships, deadly fear.

Have we lost the vision now?
Too cynical, too rich, somehow?
Too comfortable and too well-fed;
Too easy life, our sin to dread?

Then faithful voices, being quenched;
The kind, the gentle, with poison drenched.
Poison of criticism, poison of hate —
The voices of reason, many berate.

But lest we despair, let’s now give pause.
For all of this, there is a cause.
The devil knows his time is short;
All reason, love, he will abort.

When times are dark,
When love’s light dims,
Look for the light
You’ll find in Him.

Light so Bright that It’s Dark

(I believe the phrase
“Light so bright that it’s dark”
is an idea from St. John of the Cross.
We must have faith that all will be well.)
 

Don’t know why I continue existing –
So much is so incomprehensible.
Can’t seem to see my purpose –

Nothing I see ever sensible.

 Perhaps I’ll only learn
My reason for being on earth
If I should enter heaven –

Then light will shine on my birth.

My childhood seems so alien —
Can’t really believe that was me.
Why was I born in that time, that place?

Where was the shining sunbeam?

Why have I floundered through densest fog?
Why merely muddled along?
Why did I amble so aimlessly?

That solitary sojourn so long?

So much is so incomprehensible —
No clarity of sight.
But maybe,
God wants me to trust Him –
Through light so bright that it’s dark.

Faith Comes In

 

The picture is blurry,
The end is unclear.
The boat, it is leaking.
The vultures draw near.

But this is where
Faith comes in,
Faith comes in,
This is where faith comes in.

The rope, it is fraying;
Your hands getting weak.
You don’t see an opening,
Some comfort you seek.

And this is where
Faith comes in,
Faith comes in,
This is where faith comes in.

The last pennies jingling,
The bills left unpaid.
The doc’s diagnosis
Has made you afraid.

You drive in the darkness,
The rain pouring down,
Dear Jesus, please help me
Get back into town.

Your friends, they have left you,
Or so it can seem.
You’ve used all your options,
Might give up your dreams.

But you need to let
Faith come in,
Faith come in,
You need to let faith come in.

There may not be answers,
You just need to trust … and let
Faith come in,
Faith come in.
You need to let faith come in.

Embrace the Unknown

 

Embrace lengthy darkness;
Embrace the unknown.
‘Til darkness is faced,
You’ll never come home.

Accept all the sadness,
Worry and fear,
As if but a step
‘Till all becomes clear.

You’ll persevere through it;
You’ll take each road’s twists.
Plod on, ever trusting,
‘Til fog fin’ly lifts.

The clouds they are lifting;
Horizons appear.
Embrace the uncertainty;
Make friends with your fear.

Discomfort won’t kill you;
Disorder won’t crush.
Life sometimes is messy –
March on; so we must.

Unseen Hand

Just a blank wall
Is all I see.
But still, Your hand
Is touching me.

I feel alone,
And yet, I’m not.
Blindly following,
But still — not lost.

Your hand upon me,
An unseen plan.
Your ways, mysterious;
Please help me stand.

Morning Begins Again

MORNING BEGINS AGAIN

Morning begins again —
Fresh breeze upon my skin,
The promise of new things,
The hummingbird on wing.

The slate, it still is blank.
I pray, and yes, give thanks
For new beginnings,
For hearts now turning,
For all my yearnings.

The mourning dove, it coos.
I pray that I won’t lose
My hope, my faith, my patience here —
Nor let dread problems
Bring on fear.

So let our souls be light
Like angels, now take flight.
Give all to God
Though thoughts may prod —
The day comes after night.

 

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