I sought to write a poem of prayer to You just now, but it seems it is better to pour out my heart in this way again; this way that I have not written in quite a while. Life has become busier than perhaps it has ever been, and it seems now as age twenty-four approaches, my body demands more sleep and I feel emotions in deeper, stronger, more overwhelming ways. My straying meditations and affections seem also to take physical effect in me now in much keener ways. When I am hurt or worried, food is as repulsive to me as it is when I am feverish. In this past season I have seen despairing thoughts and discontentment drive me to such cowardly, irrational actions and pitiful declarations that I have, and still do, wonder if I will forever feel my weaknesses so acutely as I have seemed to in this season. I am not left without grace, Father, though I have faithlessly declared it in poems and prayers. In my alarm I so quickly conclude that I have been cut off from Your love and power, when I know nothing can separate me from the love You have for me in Christ Jesus. In the midst of storms, I probably have the inclination and habit of saying, “I’ve never felt pain so sharply as I do now,” and then too quickly forget the pain and its greater purpose when any respite comes to me. But in this season, Daddy, it has felt like Your scourging has cut me in places and depths I never imagined.
Father, my heart fails almost daily, plagued by my idolatrous pursuits and crushed by the trials You faithfully portion for me. All the more opportunity I have, then, to know intimately Your sufficient grace which strengthens my heart (Hebrews 13:9), right? Oh, please convince my heart, then, that this grace is what You’re working in me, to make my heart continuously steadfast in praise to You.
Today my believing coworker told me that I’m an arrow in Your quiver, and You have perfect aim and precision, shooting me exactly where You choose to conquer. And when You are finished with me in one arena, You remove me from where I’ve been lodged to place me back into Your quiver for the next place You decide to make me fly to for Your purposes, which are greater than me. I’m exactly where I am for reasons only You know perfectly. While I am flying I feel some excitement at what I will hit and I feel some confidence when I consider the One who aims me perfectly at His determined targets. But I feel much loneliness as well while I fly at a different pace and into a different area as Your other arrows. The wind whipping around and past me at such high speeds is both a thrill and a fright for me. It often feels too cold as it pierces me. And although from my perspective it seems that all around me is speeding past in shapeless form, morphing from one appearance to the next, meshing colors into indefinite hues, all at a dizzying speed, I know that Your view is aerial and Your aim flawless. Where I see a circle, You see a sphere; I see a square, but You know it is a cube of solid, abiding graces. And knowing and believing this warms me from the inside, like a body warm enough to heat its clothing rather than warm clothing’s temporary, but failed attempts to warm the freezing cold body. You warm me with joy that abides, springing from anchoring hope so solid it cannot be moved by the crashing waves of my doubts.
There is more on my heart, but I praise You for grace to pour this out for now. You know me full well, and I rest in this tonight. I love You, O Lord, my strength.
In Jesus’ name,