Through the years, my times alone with the Lord have been punctuated by the way He will speak to my soul or comfort my spirit with a song or a poem. Of course, these have often been drawn from the thousands of “songs, hymns and spiritual songs” written by recent and historic authors and composers. Singing, as the Word says in 1 Corinthians 14:15, “with my spirit and with my understanding” are virtually a daily practice. I have learned to welcome the pungent power of song to breathe life into my praising or the prophetic punch of a piece of poetry to clear my vision when cares, burdens or distractions might deter me.
It was about two weeks ago, I was praying for pastors who become wearied in the battle; my own experience keeps me feeling fully identified with those who are for I’ve encountered those seasons so often in my past and present ministry. And it was while I was expressing my heart to the Lord, describing “kinds of things that might burden” those I was praying for (maybe you, personally) I paused … and what follows seemed to flow from my pen as though directly poured through my being.
I don’t know if a poem is a help or a headache to you, but I felt it worth risking the latter in my hope that what came to me that morning may speak to some.
How often in the dark of night doubt casts a shadow larger than
the real and present trial I am facing?
How often on the course of life I’m called by Christ to run with faith
but feel my weakness to sustain the pacing?
How often do we each endure our seeming so misunderstood
by those we seek to love and serve or care for?
And in such moments as described we’re tempted to remove ourselves
without reviewing Heaven’s message, “Therefore!”
Now “Therefore fight,” but not as ones supposing they but beat the air,
when every step you take you tread down serpents!
And “Therefore serve” as He who came “to serve and not be served,” He said;
and doing so defined our call as servants!
So “Therefore!” loved one, sing down doubt and run with patience in the race,
(so few of us have striven “unto blood.”)
And bear the yoke He’s called you to, reminded you are partnered with
The Burden Bearer—Jesus, Son of God.
In Him each promise is “Amen“; with Him you’ll find again-again,
that in your weakness His strength will suffice you.
So “Therefore stand,” strong in the fight—Lift up your eyes, behold the light
lest shadows, fears or weariness entice you.
The course you take was charted by The Planner, Who has said, “My plans
contain your future hope of My rewarding.”
So stay the course, wear the yoke; embrace the Cross, and “Therefore, child,
you’ll know the joy that’s coming in the morning!”
Jack W. Hayford
April 13, 2009
May Jesus bless your day … and this week! I’m praying with you—much reminded today of John’s words, “I am your brother and companion in the struggle, living in the kingdom of God’s reign and standing steadfast in the patience our Lord Jesus Christ both displayed and reveals even now” (paraphrase of Revelation 1:9).