“Not Yet” (An Advent Poem)

“Not yet,” He said.
Or—At least He implied.
Or—At least I inferred from His
Silence.
Years of silence. Decades of silence. 400 years of silence
Or—At least it seems that way.

So forgive me, but it’s hard to believe.
It’s hard to wait.
It’s hard to listen when all I hear is . . .
—Did you hear it?
I didn’t either.
Not yet.

My heart is faint;
Come, quickly.
My eyelids droop;
Come, quickly.

Lifter of my head, I wait for You.
I behold a sky waiting for a star of hope
I belong to a world waiting for a Son of God,
A Savior
Not yet.
But soon.

“The Airport”

The airport is my favorite place—
Filled with excitement,
New destinations calling my name
To this gate and that.
To think—at any minute (and with a little spare cash)
I could go anywhere.

And then there’s that beautiful word: ARRIVALS,
That beautiful path where reunions happen,
Where time apart is eclipsed by hugs
Because right now we’re together.

And yet
If home is where the heart is, my home is splintered across the globe.
A fractured home’s enlarged my heart
As the cracks of “missing” swell—
It is truly more whole than before.

The adrenaline rush of adventure’s departure
Tempered with the steadiness of return
“I’m back!”; “Welcome!”; “Goodbye!”;
The deepest of emotions are on display
At the airport.

But beware:
The cracks still hurt.

airport-arrivals-6061316

Prepare My Heart to Praise You Then

I’ve said and heard many times in Bible studies before “It’s so much easier to praise God when life is going well for us.” It’s true. A few days ago I was feeling unusually joyful and happy about life. As I was singing worship songs in the two-hour drive I was taking that day, I prayed, “Prepare my heart to praise you then.” In the other times. In the less-easy-to-praise-God times. In the less-easy-but-immensely-important times.

I think of it as an infinite pattern of praise—praising God today for today and praising Him today for tomorrow. “Lord, I praise you today. And I praise You that when hard times come tomorrow, You will be with me. And I praise You because when you get me through the hard times of tomorrow, and I’m tempted to ignore You and boast in myself, You will be with me. And I praise You that when I’ve been humbled from that boasting that follows the hard time following the goodness of today, You will still be with me!”

And so this is what I’ve written over the past week:

Prepare my heart to praise You then
When darker days do come.
When earth gives way and mountains move,
Recall to me Your love.
Steadfast, I know it never leaves.
Each morning it is new.
I trust You for the coming doubt
That You will see me through.

The woes of earth surprise me not.
Already I rejoice.
I hide Your word within my heart
To always know Your voice.
With truth in hand, I’ll face the trials.
My double-edged sword
Cuts down the lies that pull me far
Away from Christ my Lord.

With eager heart, expect great things,
His glory coming soon,
A story of His faithfulness
To never-changing tune.
Steadfast, I know You never leave,
Each morning grace anew.
I trust You for the coming doubt
That you will see me through.

Some verses referenced:
Lamentations 3:21-22; Psalm 46:1-3; 1 Peter 4:12; James 1:2; Psalm 119:11; Psalm 105:5; John 10:3-5, 14-16; Hebrews 4:12; Romans 8:18