if: when we receive so much more than we deserve or expect

If only. Oh how often those immortal words have entered our thoughts or escaped from our lips, as we murmur against the hand life has dealt us or wonder just when we can fulfil our delayed hopes and dreams.

Maybe ‘if only’ has been spoken as wistful wishes or with sadness and regret. I’ve had my share of both. But I’ve also expressed those words when looking back in gratitude for the way God has intervened to rescue me from this or that. With God, we always receive so much more than we deserve or have any right to expect.

Today, I’m wondering at the wisdom of temporarily breaking my poetic silence and period of enforced rest, having been lured into the writing waters again by the prompt of ‘if’ provided by five-minute-friday this week.

If

If you can see yourself as you really are, your need for alteration and change,
and are willing for your mind to become transformed, your life rearranged.

If you can look beyond the bare bones of your own meagre existence
and recognise how much loving others makes a difference.

If you refuse to slavishly follow the ways of this darkened world, preferring,
instead, to plough your own furrow, while watching seeds of faith unfurl.

If you recognise that undue haste and hurry only lead to stress and driven
lives, and that being spiritually guided, led and inspired is truly wise.

If you can maintain hope when challenges mount up, and drink
willingly from life’s stormy, thankless and bitter cup.

If you gratefully receive grace upon grace to help you live your life
aright, while yielding yourself to God’s supreme will and his laser-light.

If your eyes have been opened to the mystery and marvellous ways of God,
and your broken heart has been broken open by his unconditional love.

If your prayers centre on inner growth, supporting others more than yourself,
and you’ve developed a greater Christ-like, compassionate heart as well.

Then you will be aware of being God’s beloved one, my friend,
created to be in relationship with him and to do good things.
© joylenton

**With apologies to Rudyard Kipling for styling my hastily executed poem similarly to his own epic work. You can read his masterly ‘If’ poem here… **

However, I am delighted to be flexing my poetic muscles again and to have an offering to share with the wonderful writers here. Come join us? 🙂

It’s not about me

It doesn’t take us long once we have become a Christian to see that there’s a huge obstacle blocking our progress in  the walk of faith ~ ourselves.

We have been accustomed to living an ego-driven-centric life, whether aware of it or not.

From infancy onwards, the soul is naturally set in gaining satisfaction from its needs being met.

We survive and thrive because of it.

But as believers in Christ we have a whole new set of values to live by.

Surrender and submission become the hallmark of a life given over to God.

It’s all about Him. His will and ways. His purposes being fulfilled.

Though God doesn’t seek to be in relationship with unthinking robots. He won’t gatecrash our thinking either.

We play our part in gradually opening up more of ourselves to Him, and He fills and floods more areas of our lives with His healing, restoring Presence.

All is made new ~ over time, testing and trials ~ as faith and trust are stretched and perseverance and wisdom grows.

Until we realise we prefer His ways to our ways and can see the wonder of a life enlivened by His Spirit.

I’m still learning after many years on this pathway. It can take a lifetime to become more like Jesus.

But it is so worth it if His beauty can be seen in you and me and shine out to bless and encourage others.

Because we’re never more truly ourselves (as He created us to be) than when we’re revealing His glory and grace in our lives.

‘All about me’

An insistent voice making a continual plea,

calling, “What about me, what about me?”

Deceptively soft, subdued, until clawing

its way through our resistance, drowning

out all, rising clear and loud,

shouting out, now strong and proud,

it appears deafening to our ears

Life can beat to its persistent drum, it’s

surging flow and constant thrum, or we

can choose to turn the volume low,

rendering things steady and slow

by a huge effort of the will, grit of teeth,

shake of head, and a defiant refusal

to pay attention to what is said

But our best efforts are rendered vain

when its piercing cry pounds relentless

as rain, and we can no longer ignore

all that it seeks to impart and implore,

and with much pushing and pressing succeeds

in driving us forward with undue speed ~

for ego is desperate to be top of the game

How can we learn to be less, not more,

and allow Holy Spirit’s voice to soar?

How do we submit when all inside

cries to be first and to override

those gentle whispers on the wind

from our most loving, faithful Friend?

I wish I knew…..how about you?

©JoyLenton2014

Joining here with Diana and other like-minded questioning souls as we ask:“What’s with this ‘more of Jesus and less of me stuff?'” And with fellow thoughtful sisters Lyli, Mel and Jennifer