Poems, Personal Stories, and Observations

Posts tagged ‘joy’

Rejoice with Me / Love Is Worth It!

Rejoice with me, for my cat was lost and now is found! (paraphrase — see Luke 15:6, 9, 24).

Last night our younger indoor cat (Pepper), a male, escaped during a thunderstorm. We’ve had him less than a year and he doesn’t know the neighborhood, which possibly has coyotes. I know that many cats do return, and sure enough, he was back in the morning, not even wet!

On the grand scale of what happens to people, this event was not a big deal, but nevertheless I was praying and asked others to pray, was somewhat anxious, and didn’t sleep much. It did make me consider many things, one of which is how God pursues us relentlessly when we are lost. He is an awesome God!

In Matthew 18:10-14, Jesus says, “Take care that you do not despise one of these little ones; for, I tell you, in heaven their angels continually see the face of my Father in heaven. What do you think? If a shepherd has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. So it is not the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones should be lost.”

The morning after my night of poor sleep, I considered how I would lure Pepper back. Since we have another cat that I didn’t want to escape, I put her in a room and shut the door. I opened the back glass sliding doors about eight inches, then put some wet and dry cat food near the door. Soon he appeared at the door, after I had heard a bit of meowing, but he wouldn’t come in right away. I backed off to about 30 feet away, and after some more meowing, he rushed into the house towards me. I scooped him up and hugged him like a baby!

So my heart was full after a rotten night. This brought to mind another passage from the Bible, John 16:20-22 (No, I do not have these passages memorized; I cut and paste them from websites.): “Very truly, I tell you, you will weep and mourn, but the world will rejoice; you will have pain, but your pain will turn into joy. When a woman is in labor, she has pain, because her hour has come. But when her child is born, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy of having brought a human being into the world. So you have pain now; but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.”

It’s hard to believe in joy while we’re going through sorrow, but when Pepper returned, I certainly experienced that the sorrow had been worth it! It hurts at times to love God or others, but we suffer because of the love that we have, and the love is worth it!

Blessed Night

Blessed night
Stars are bright
Calming silence
Peaceful quietness

Sleep so softly
Clouds are lofty

Gentle rain
Song’s refrain
Birds sing brightly
Sky is lightening

Dawn begins
Joy within

We Cannot Wander

Written during the pandemic quarantine.

——————————————–

We cannot wander, as we were wont,
Nor visit with our brother,
Nor sisters far, embrace in arms,
For fear of causing them much harm.

Some journeys far, we cannot take,
And many meetings must forsake,
Just through a screen we sometimes meet,
When togetherness we seek.

Or walking in our neighborhood,
Six feet apart; we’re told we should.
Some friend of ours, perchance we meet,
With joy afar, we then do greet.

But what a gift we still do have,
Imagination is at hand,
All o’er the earth, and far beyond,
Imagination is our bond.

By rushing streams, we still can wander,
And mountain vales, both near and yonder,
And air so clear, takes breath away;
Still smell a wildflower bouquet.

Those friends and family that we miss,
For them we offer prayer, and kiss.
We think of them and offer prayers,
And hope that well go their affairs.

Let memory of all that’s good,
Bring us some joy, as so it should.
And bring to mind those happy times
That will return in sunnier climes.

Underneath His Sway

God comes to me in my grumbling
(Though surely I do not deserve),
Comes to offer His faithful love,
And for His love I have no words.

Nothing I do (or do not do)
Has bearing on His gracious love.
I’m helpless, hopeless, to be sure;
Still He pours down grace from above.

How can I learn to just let go,
And let the Lord God have His way?
Learn how to love, from what He does,
And be underneath His sway?

When will I learn that He controls,
No matter what things may portend?
Then I can be a little child —
Trust, peace, and His joy be my end.

Gazing

Through driest desert and shifting sea,
Through darkest desolation —
Lord, let me gaze on thee.

Through mocking words and misery,
Through strife and consternation —
Lord, may I gaze on thee.

Through times of ease and much delight,
Through times of jubilation —
Lord, keep my gaze on thee.

In laughter, joy, and questioning,
Or worldly obfuscation —
Lord, I will gaze on thee.

Selfless Love

Jesus, Mary and Joseph are amazing examples of selfless love  Even in the midst of great joy, grief, pain, or challenges, they thought of the welfare of others.

Mary, upon learning that she would conceive Jesus the Messiah, the son of God, went off to help her cousin Elizabeth, who was also with child, though further along in her pregnancy.  At the wedding in Cana, Mary thought of the distress of a married couple running out of wine.  Mary also stood at the cross of Jesus when many had deserted Him.

We never hear Joseph, Mary’s husband, speak a word in the Bible.  But his actions speak loudly.  Like his namesake in the Old Testament, he was a dreamer, and as far as we know, he always obeyed God’s leading, which often came through dreams.  No matter the embarrassment (of Mary’s pregnancy), or inconvenience (having to travel long distances or pull up roots), he obeyed God and fulfilled his role as protector of Mary and Jesus.

Jesus, when he heard of his cousin John the Baptist’s beheading, went off to grieve privately, but when the crowds discovered His location, he had compassion on them and healed their diseases.  Later that day, he multiplied loaves and fishes to feed the crowd.  How often in our grief do we want to just curl up in a ball and pull the covers over our head?

While Jesus suffered excruciating pain on the cross, he still thought of us.  He prayed, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

When we have a vision of how God wants us to cooperate in His plan, we, too, can be selfless, through His grace!

For the Joy

I had my head down for so long,
It takes training for me to lift it up.
My focus is off; My heart’s eyes myopic.
Learning from God is my only cure.

“For the joy set before him he endured,”
“He considered the fact that God is able,”
“Our light and momentary troubles,”
“Our slight afflictions,”
“The sufferings of this present time,”
“Not worth comparing with the glory.”

I don’t know how abuse, torture, rape, crucifixion,
Ridicule, mockery, calumny,
Beatings, shipwrecks, imprisonments and more,
Suffered by some,
Can be called “slight –”
But the glory, the joy, of heaven,
Must be far greater than anyone can imagine.

In Dust and Rain

You lifted me up, for a while.
I flew like a butterfly on weightless wings,
But I had to come down to earth.

I am a worm now, crawling in the mud.
But worms make way for growing things,
For trees, and flowers, and birds that sing.

It’s all the same,
In dust and rain,
In joy or pain.

Love has to hurt —
So life gives birth,
And pain gives way to joy.

Casting Out Fear

I looked around
For many years.
I laughed a lot,
Cried many tears.

The loneliness
I could not fathom.
My heart so cold,
An endless chasm.

God’s beauty came
To rescue me.
I cried for joy;
He set me free.

An aching heart,
It comes and goes.
Love’s happiness
Brings many woes.

My love, it hurts,
Brings many tears.
Yet perfect love
Casts out all fear.

Send the Rain Again

Lord, please send the rain again

Upon the dry and dusty land.

Send it down so we can drink;

Send it on the sea and sand.

 

Send refreshment that we need.

Desperate, we await Your plan.

Hungry, needing nourishment;

Thirsty, knowing that You can –

 

Bring beauty out of ugliness,

Bring joy from sorrow extreme,

Bring order out of great chaos,

And bring alive our dreams.

 

Why do You tarry, oh so long?

How long before Your plan matures?

Teach us to follow Your commands;

That You will triumph, is sure.

 

Without You, we are frozen still.

Without You, we are lost.

But with You, there is hope and light;

I look upon Your cross.

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