burden: chained by circumstance but freed by grace

burden - chained by circumstance, freed by grace @poetryjoy.com

There are days when our burdens, be they physical or emotional, become impossible to ignore. Days when we feel consumed by the weight of them. Chained to our hard circumstances. Dragged down into a dark place.

I prefer not to talk too much about having chronic illness, although it’s an inescapable fact that faces me each day. It demands enough. It has stolen too much. So much that I tend to want to ignore its presence and pretend I am fine, doing okay, even when I’m not.

It feels better to plaster a smile on my face and seek to maintain a positive outlook on life. It seems less bothersome, less of a burden to fight the good fight of faith and try not to yield to dismay. Or give in to self-pity.

But sometimes? Sometimes I am just too tired to fight against the pain. Sometimes I just want to sit and cry. Sometimes I lose sight of my loving Saviour sitting in the ashes with me, holding out His hands to receive.

Because God doesn’t want us to bear our burdens alone. He longs for us to turn to Him. To offer up our pain and problems like a fragrant thing. Because sometimes it’s truthfully all we are able to give to Him. And that’s okay. It really is.

Burden

fear nibbles at the edges of her soul, like a rat
aboard a sinking ship that leaks, lists and tips
because she has woken to face yet another
pain filled day, unrefreshed in every way

her spirits are plummeting fast and her heart
contracts as she thinks about the future, for
she longs above anything else not to become
a burden to others or to those she loves

during these days of increasing debility
and weariness, she can often forget
just who she should be handing all her
heavy burdens over to—until he speaks

with whispered reassurance in his voice
to her hurting soul—while he pours the balm
of hope into her heart, forcing fear and
discouragement to flee, and she falls

further, on bended knee, when Jesus
tenderly reminds her once again that
every burden handed over to him will
not only lessen the load on her soul

it will also miraculously transmute
into a blessing by faith, shaping her
perception, if not her situation in life

and so she prays, tears welling up in her
eyes, and she gives praise like a willing
sacrifice—in spite of nothing visible yet

taking place, she has already tasted his
goodness and grace, and sensed the difference
inside, where calm and peace now abide
© joylenton

We might not feel like it but we can learn to praise God in the storm, sense His presence with us and gain comfort in knowing we are not alone.

I’m so grateful for God’s grace in my life. His comforting embrace. His enabling when I am weak. For words coming when I feel drained and dry. And for being able to share my 5 minute(ish) poem with the fabulous five-minute-friday crew. This week’s prompt is “burden” and you can join your words here. 

burden - #FMF - burden poem excerpt (C)joylenton @poetryjoy.com

Being sustained at the table

advent-89554_640

Advent is a season to deliberately look for and lean toward the light of God’s presence.

We hunger for hope, run hard after His wild mercy and grace.

Long for freedom from our pain, guilt and shame.

Seek sustenance for our dry, thirsty souls.

Scripture gives us promises that the weak and weary will be refuelled and restored at God’s table of grace.

So we come because invitation has been given to feast with Him here and in greater abundance in heaven.

Won’t you join me at the table? I’ve saved a seat for you. There’s always room for more.

Come taste the wine of His presence and eat the Bread which gives sustenance and life to us.

“But those who suffer he delivers in their suffering; he speaks to them in their affliction. He is wooing you from the jaws of distress to a spacious place free from restriction, to the comfort of your table laden with choice food” ~ Job 36:15-16

This table..

Here lies hospitality beyond

all knowing, an open table

stretching to infinity

which still keeps growing

A warm welcome here for all

who live in Love’s thrall and spend

their lives devoted to the Friend

who laid down His life for them

Yet here in the very midst

of mess, trouble and strife

we find this table groaning

heavy, brimful with Life

In the presence of our enemies

this table speaks of bounty

deep, laden with grace for the

able, wounded and weak

And even as we eat and drink

to sustain our weary souls,

we will always rise replete,

satiated, filled and whole

This table sits within dark

wilderness, shining bright

with Light’s heavenly splendour

inviting us to taste largesse

©JoyLenton2015

hospitality table FMF PJ

“You prepare a table for me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.” ~ Psalm 23:5-6

I’m joining fellow thankful table-dwellers over at Kate Motaung’s site today as we feast on the word ‘table’ , chew it over in five minutes flat and pour out our soul offerings. The poem above is my contribution to the rich fare being served there. Come join us?

Burning bright and clear

The lights are going out everywhere.

Decorations put away for another year.

Brightness losing to grey and gloom.

But what if we deliberately make room for it?

With ‘listen’ being my #oneword365, I aim to use all of my senses more fully.

And as a personal writing challenge this year, I am starting with 31 days of being more mindful.

Notice normal.

Find ordinary extraordinary.

Turn away from doom and drear.

Let my interest in life burn bright and clear.

See God’s goodness and grace all over the place.

Savour the flavour of life ‘As Is’ in a way I may not have done before.

It began on January 1st with this #smallstone offering:

And it has continued since as I’ve shared them on social media. Not aiming for perfection ~ just attention to detail ~ I will share some of them here with you too.

Today’s poem came from reflecting on the change of season and end of Christmas/New Year celebrations.

Maybe I can encourage and inspire you to actively listen to your life and find greater joy and discovery in the everyday? I hope so.

‘Evergreen’

Embracing a new year

means that Christmas decorations

tend to disappear

and all its celebrations

are at an end

Though God’s Light

is not suspended

but shining bright and clear

it remains to comfort and to cheer

Burning evergreen in our souls

perfect for every season

it is the very reason

we are healed, restored, made whole

throughout the year

as it leads, guides and directs

our pathways here

©JoyLenton2014