just: when the wound of inadequacy is no match for grace

just - when the wound of inadequacy is no match for grace - heart - hedge @poetryjoy.com

There are times when my illness hurts my heart just as sharply as it affects my body. I experience an emotional pang on the inside. It rises when I am brought face to face with my limitations. And it feels as if I’m looking out on the world from behind a thick hedge. It doesn’t happen often but it stings, nevertheless.

Yesterday we had the pleasure of our young grandson visiting us for a few hours. I had worried in advance because I thought he might get bored in our rather sedentary company, and we might struggle to entertain him.

The rest of the week had been very physically active for him as he went out and about with his granny, aunt and cousins. But I needn’t have feared. God ensured that time with us would be a welcome quiet breather in his otherwise hectic schedule. It flew by and we loved it all.

And yet, when I heard about his earlier exploits, the heart wound of inadequacy became freshly opened. I mourned my lack of physical health and strength, and in doing so I nearly failed to savour the strong bond we have with him. It’s no less real or important for being different.

Fatigue and pain are high today and I didn’t think I could write anything. Until I flicked through my files and found this here’s-one-I-made-earlier poem, which seemed perfect to share.

Just this

It doesn’t feel like much, this tiny
offering she brings, a small seed sown
for the one who is known as King of kings.

And her heart contracts, flutters a bit,
because it just can’t be enough, can it?

All she has to give to him is broken sleep
and broken dreams, a weakened body,
weary and sick, where deformity sits.

She has no riches, no wealth, no treasure
to share, nothing tangible, just herself
and the pain and stiffness she bears.

Yet she hears a voice calling her forward,
gently encouraging her to walk toward
him with ungainly feet and aching limbs.

And he lifts her chin, smiles into her downcast
face and draws her into a loving embrace.

Rest here, my child, rest your heart and mind
and rest assured I receive your tears like they
are ocean-drawn gifts and precious pearls.

I know how much your heart aches to bring
me a suitable offering, and longs to have
a different kind of existence to be living.

All I ask from you is that you believe who I
AM and open your heart to receive all the gifts
I delight to pour into your soul’s reservoirs.

Your brokenness is a great gift to me, because
I work best within an open, contrite heart
and a surrendered soul, just as you are.
© joylenton

“God is in her citadels; he has shown himself to be her fortress.” – Psalms 48:3 (NIV)

just - ocean - grace - just this poem excerpt (C)joylenton @poetryjoy.com

Friends, let’s try to remember that our inadequacy is no match for God’s grace. He fills our insufficient souls with His equipping presence and love.  He gives us strength when we feel weak. He holds us close when we are hurting.

We don’t need to drown in discouragement, only rest in the One who knits us back together again. God alone can heal what is broken and wounded in us, including our thoughts.

Today’s offering is linking hands with friends at five-minute-friday. This week’s prompt is “just”. You can join us here and read the great variety of posts being shared. 🙂

21 thoughts on “just: when the wound of inadequacy is no match for grace

  1. Joy, this is so beautiful! I’ve been feeling less than my best so your message is very timely. A big AMEN to this: “Friends, let’s try to remember that our inadequacy is no match for God’s grace.”
    Thank you for your encouraging words, Joy, Thank you for sharing out of your weakness and for shining brightly the Light of Christ. Blessings, love and hugs to you, dear sister/poet/friend! xoxo

    • Gayl, I’m so sorry to hear you’re feeling less than your best. I hope and pray it will be shortlived. But I am pleased this word proved to be timely and helpful for you. I so often feel like I have nothing to share or am too weary to even try. Then God gently nudges me to trust in Him and rely on His inspiration and strength alone. And when I do, He always, always graciously comes through with an offering that suits. It awes and lifts my heart. I’m grateful you have been blessed here, dear friend, and I’m rejoicing to have been given words to share. Blessings, love and hugs to you too! xo 💜

  2. Dear Joy,
    Oh you have brought me to tears today. In this place of pain, He does accept the small that we have to offer, doesn’t He? This stanza:
    “Rest here, my child, rest your heart and mind
    and rest assured I receive your tears like they
    are ocean-drawn gifts and precious pearls.”
    I have no words, it is so beautiful. He sees so differently than we do. Thank you for expressing what is deep in the heart of so many of us, and bringing such a blessing of grace. Blessings, love, and hugs to you my Dear Friend. xoxo

    • Dear Bettie, would you believe that tears formed in my own eyes as I read this over in the edit and listened to the song again? It was as if God was reaffirming the message to me before I made it public. Words do fail us sometimes when God touches our hearts with His understanding and love. I thought the poem might resonate with you, and I’m delighted it does. You truly get what it’s like to live with limitations and pain, coupled with longings for life to be different. Yet in that place of challenge and soul sadness we can meet powerfully with our Saviour, and experience a peace and joy we wouldn’t have known otherwise. Blessings, love and hugs to you too, dear friend! xoxo 💜

  3. Oh Joy, you captured the real emotions we all feel at times. Whether because of physical limitations or monetary shortages, spiritual lacking or whatever. Your poem was like a balm to my soul to read. I’m so glad you had a lovely visit with your grandson. And yes, the slower moments are treasured just as much as the action-packed ones. Blessings to you!

    • They are all too real, aren’t they, Melissa? And not exclusive of one kind of challenge either, as you indicated. It lifts my heart to hear how you have been encouraged here. The ability to be grace for one another is one of the great gifts of writing and connecting. May you have a blessed weekend, my friend, be it action-packed, slow and reflective or a mix of both of them! xoxo 💜

  4. Can’t go wrong with some Lauren Daigle! Sounds like you had some good quality time with your grandson. I’m sure the less fast paced time was good for him too.

    • Indeed you can’t, Tara! I especially love this song, and it was fitting for my thoughts as well. Yes, we absolutely love seeing our grandson, even if it invariably leaves us exhausted. Though the joy he brings more than makes up for those depleted feelings. I think he quite appreciated our full attention as he played happily for a few hours. That’s the best gift we can give him. Blessings on your weekend, my friend! xo 💜

  5. Beautiful words of encouragement Joy, and lovely poem. Sharing and blessing others in the midst of your pain is a true work of grace. I can say anen to what you’ve shared concerning God coming through when we feel we have nothing to offer. May our Saviour bless and bring relief and healing to you dear sis. Much love xx♥️

    • Oh how kind of you, Christine! Your sweet words made me smile and acted like a balm in my heart. Although I might fear my emptiness, God fills the space time and again with so much mercy and grace that it no longer feels like an intractable problem. He is so good and gracious to us in our weakness! Thank you so much for your lovely comment and blessing. I have been greatly encouraged by your visit, dear sister! Blessings and love to you. xo 💜

  6. I really identify with this, Joy. The heart wound of inadequacy can be so strong sometimes, can’t it? This realization God gave you gives me encouragement – “I nearly failed to savour the strong bond we have with him. It’s no less real or important for being different.” Thank you for this reminder that though the limitations of our health keep us from some things, it doesn’t mean the love bond between us and our grandkids is less real or less important. I needed that, as sometimes I feel like such a failure as a grandma. And what beautiful hope there is in this truth:
    “Rest here, my child, rest your heart and mind
    and rest assured I receive your tears like they
    are ocean-drawn gifts and precious pearls.”
    Thank you, dear friend. Love and blessings of pain-free days and nights and soul peace to you!

    • Oh, Trudy, I can definitely identify with feeling like a failure as a grandma sometimes. It hurts when we can’t be as physically active with them as we want to be, doesn’t it? But it’s important to keep reminding ourselves that sharing our hearts, offering love, treating them with understanding and compassion, maintaining a sense of humour and perspective, as well as savouring the slower pursuits, are all valuable relationship builders and strengtheners. May you and I learn to value what we can do and not worry about what is impossible or challenging for us. We have such beautiful hope in God and He has no shortage of grace for us. I know the joy my grandson gives me helps offset the weakness and exhaustion I might be experiencing. Amen to your lovely blessing! May it be so, Lord. Love and hugs to you, dear friend. xo 💜

    • Thank you, Deborah, the visit really warmed my heart! We don’t get to see our grandson very much, although we have a weekly catch-up Skype session, which helps. Bless you for your kind encouragement. It means a lot. xo 💜

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