O LORD, How Long?

My God this life can be so cruel

the burdens hard to bare

In weary lands I thirst for You

my soul fights dry despair

In miry depths of swirling thoughts

I sink in fear and shame

With breaking heart and burning bones

I wrestle sin and pain

***

How long, Lord, will You hide Your face?

How long, O Lord, how long?

How long until You hear my cry?

How long, O Lord, how long?

Please turn Your face to shine on me

O come, Lord Jesus, come!

Because of Your abiding love

O come, Lord Jesus come!

***

Your enemies are roaring, Lord,

 in shadows stalk their prey

They hate your chosen without cause

for You we’re scorned and slain

They taunt us saying, ‘Where is God?’

shoot arrows of deceit

The insults that are hurled at You

fall on Your scattered sheep

***

How long will Darkness mock You, Lord?

How long, O Lord, how long?

How long will we be slaughtered, Lord?

How long, O Lord, how long?

Please be our Light, our Shield, our Rock

O come, Lord Jesus, come!

Lord, for the sake of Your great Name

O come Lord Jesus, come!

***

The world groans under ancient curse

creation chokes with thorns

The nations gnash their greedy teeth

the wicked raise their horns

The fatherless and poor are crushed

the earth is soaked with blood

Death arms itself with war and plague

with famine, fire and flood

***

How long ‘til peace and justice reign?

How long, O Lord, how long?

How long ‘til Resurrection Day?

How long, O Lord, how long?

Burn all that’s wrong, make all things new

O come, Lord Jesus, come!

So we may always dwell with You

O come, Lord Jesus, come!

***

Wipe all our tears and fears away

O come, Lord Jesus, come!

‘Til this age ends we wait and pray

O come, Lord Jesus, come!

***

The Spirit and Your Bride say, ‘Come!’

Amen, Lord Jesus, come!


Gone for Good

The bond that time and distance will not sever
now is pulling on my fragile heart,
but you have gone for good, not gone forever.

For I cannot deny, despite whatever
pain may come, God planned this from the start -
our bond that time and distance will not sever.

I must submit to sovereign will whenever
tears appear; God made you for this part,
so you have gone for good, not gone forever.

God gives and takes away, thus I will never
take for granted my soul’s counterpart,
this bond that time and distance will not sever.

So I can send you off to your endeavour,
knowing God Himself your course will chart,
and you have gone for good, not gone forever.

Until we meet again, my friend, wherever
that may be, I’ll keep, while we’re apart,
the bond that time and distance will not sever,
for you have gone for good, not gone forever.


Confessions of a Compulsive Collector

Some hunt and gather for their great obsessions,
or purchase souvenirs as their mementos;
some horde the countless objects they are given,
or spend all free time playing with their photos.

But I collect the purest form of memories,
thoughts captured from the brightest and the deepest;
I lock within my chest these special treasures,
the priceless times spent with the true and dearest.

Unfading they are always present with me,
their worth accumulating as time passes.
Occasionally, for those who helped create them,
I open up to show selected riches.

Then joy renewed by heart-felt reminiscing
can polish and increase their hidden value;
while not receiving shared appreciation
corrodes like rust, or spoils like stubborn mildew.

So after I return them to their casket,
and store them in my vaulted heart securely,
then over time my rare collection either
sustains my soul, or eats away within me.


Unchanging

One yesterday the God who made all things
was born the man who died for me.
He took away my shame.

Today the God who must sustain all things
is still the man who pleads for me.
His righteousness I claim.

 Forever God the Son, heir of all things,
shall be the man who walks with me.
There is no fairer name!

 For yesterday, today, forevermore
my Jesus is the same.


Working Out the Knots

My friend sits quietly in flannelette,
the cold night watching from the windowsill;
narcotic TV helps her to forget,
while I nurse tender heartstrings tangled still.
For as she moves a hand beneath long hair
to rub her neck where all her worries dwell,
my raw heart resonates with every care,
and once again begins to ache and swell.
So to my feet I summon her to sit,
my restless hands to kneed through shirt and skin;
just close enough for her to benefit,
and near enough to ease the knots within.
Too soon tomorrow ends our therapy;
outside her door I curse the lonely street,
then turning, feel my heart wrenched out of me;
I leave it bound and waiting at her feet.
My final words I mouth in fading light,
‘Goodnight my tightest bond, my friend goodnight.’


Anamchara

Before commanding time’s inaugural day,
as God was writing in His book divine,
He must have smiled with pleasure at the way
your story would in time converge with mine.
It surely must have been His great delight
to fill our pages with affection deep,
and form us as two springs that would unite,
a stream of blessings rich to share and keep.
Composing our requited trust and care
as channels for His wisdom and our growth,
He yoked our hearts for loads to jointly bear,
and gave one mind and humour to us both.
Not distance, years nor death our tale can end,
for timeless Author made both soul and friend.


Prayers from Bethany (A Beautiful Thing)

Lord, when I aim to serve wholeheartedly
I think of all the things that must be done,
the countless needs love urges me to meet;
then worldly worries start to overwhelm,
and simply sitting still to hear Your voice
begins to feel a waste of precious time.

So please remind my burdened heart, dear Master,
that only one thing now is needed;
for being near through Your sweet word is better
than all that I could do for You.
And as I pour out all I have in worship,
may all my time be fragrant with surrender
to Your extravagant love for me,
and be a beautiful thing to You.

Lord, when my heart within feels torn apart,
or crushed into the dust of dark despair,
by all that is so wrong in this lost world;
and when to me Your ways make little sense,
Your ears seem closed and eyes seem shut to me,
then trusting in Your goodness can be hard.

So please remind my broken heart, dear Master,
that only one thing now is needed;
for crying out my hurt to You is better
than simple answers found elsewhere.
And as I pour out all my pain in worship,
may every tear be fragrant with surrender
to Your extravagant love for me,
and be a beautiful thing to You.

  Lord, when I find myself confronted by
the darkest depths of my depravity
and wretched inability to change,
then I begin heed the Enemy,
who hides Your finished work upon the cross
and questions Your triumphant love and grace.

So please remind my contrite heart, dear Master,
that only one thing now is needed;
for what Your saving work achieved is greater
than all my guilt and darkest crimes.
And as I pour out all I’ve done in worship,
may my remorse be fragrant with surrender
to Your extravagant love for me,
and be a beautiful thing to You.

Oh Lord, yes I have been forgiven much
So may my life reveal how much I love…
Oh Lord, yes I have been forgiven much
So may my life reveal how much I love You, Jesus.

And please remind my heart, dear Master,
that only one thing now is needed,
for faith and hope that rests in You is better
than all my striving and my shame.
And as I pour out all I am in worship,
may all my life be fragrant with surrender
to Your extravagant love for me,
and be a beautiful thing to You…
a beautiful thing to You.


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