Like a Tree

Roots must grow first in the darkness of the earth away from the eye,
Before a seedling sprouts out of the soil and reaches upward towards the sky.

And even when the tree starts to grow above the dirt for all to see,
The roots must keep expanding to support the growing tree.

Not all growth is visible to our incomplete vision,
Nor can all be measured and quantified with scientific precision.

You may not be able to see the steady growth under the dirt and decay,
But in time, you’ll see the proof of it in the light of day.

A tree grows upwards and out and eventually bears fruits,
Which only further proves the growth of those hidden roots.

So we, too, grow in some ways that are invisible
But even slow and hidden growth can lead to something visible.

Like a tree planted by the water is the one who trusts the Lord on high,
With roots growing steadily away from the human eye.

In the heat of the day, its leaves remain green,
Nourished by living water and supported by roots unseen.

In its season, it blooms and bears fruit like He designed it to,
For He was and is faithful to seeds planted and hidden from view.

He saw the result before the process had even begun,
And what He’s promised to do is as good as done.


Like this poem? Check out Growing Still! Keep growing, friends. And remember, God is faithful and will complete what He began.

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

Philippians 1:6 ESV

Through It All

Through It All

Through every hour of every day and every night,
Even in the moments I do not have the strength to fight,
You are present, holding me in Your capable hands,
And fighting for me, leading according to Your perfect plans.

Through all the tumultuous storms of this life,
And every kind of mortal earthside strife,
You assure me that You are still in control,
And You draw near to comfort and console.

Through the endless stream of man-made turmoil too,
And all the hurt us mortal beings to one another do,
You promise that Your way will prevail in the end,
And until then, You lead the way to love, reconcile, and mend.

Through the times I am overcome with fear,
And all the moments I cannot feel You near,
You say to cast my anxieties on You because you care for me,
And tell me that feelings do not always correspond with reality.

Through every tear I have ever cried,
And all the times I have come to You tongue-tied,
You listen and understand all that I need,
And when I have no words, Your Spirit is there to intercede.

Through all the moments when all hope seems gone,
When I am weary and not sure I can continue on,
You offer me the rest my soul does yearn for,
And remind me, once again, that I do not walk alone anymore.

Through all the dead ends I find myself stuck in,
By my action and inaction, that is, by my sin,
You make a way where there is no way,
And lead me out, never leading me on or astray.

Through all the walls I have built by my pride,
And all the times I have tried to run from You and hide,
You break through to reveal my transgression in loving conviction,
And bring me back, redeeming me from my terminal condition.

And through the valley of the shadow of death,
Even on the day that I take my last breath,
You declare that I am not alone,
And assure me that You will bring me home.

Through it all, You are faithful and true,
And You see things from a much higher view.
No circumstance here can thwart Your plans,
And even now in the chaos, I am in Your steady hands.

Empathy in the Rain

These days, empathy feels like a heavy burden to carry.
The road feels endless, though this time is temporary.

I try to remember the sun is still there when the weather is dreary,
But with so much bad news and hurt, I am weary.

I tend to internalize and swallow it all down,
Yet I know that the inevitable conclusion of that is a breakdown.

This burden is more than I can carry.
Casting it on Him is necessary.

When the burden is laid in His capable hand,
Empathy is a gift to help me do what He has planned.

To love when it hurts and it cuts so deep,
To be patient and kind with my fellow hurting sheep.

No dark valley is outside His watchful eye.
And in the rain, hope still shines in the sky.

None of this is okay, and neither am I.
But the Hope of the world still draws nigh.

He is teaching me to love as He has loved me,
And in that love, I am truly free.

Not free of hurt, not free of pain,
But free to love, and to praise Him while out in the rain.

Just Happy to Be Here

This piece was inspired by a writing prompt from Tanner Olson
(@writtentospeak on Instagram)

So many times I’ve wanted to disappear,
To run away, escape the clutch of all my fears.

“Maybe if things were different,” I say,
“Things wouldn’t be this way.”

But I cannot ever escape from me,
So maybe here is where I need to be.

For here is where God designated,
Before my bones were even created.

Every circumstance I face is a tool in His hand,
That He uses to create the masterpiece He planned.

And wherever here is, whatever time and place,
He can meet me here, in that space.

And indeed, He meets me here,
He calms the waves of all my fears.

I am never alone, for He is here with me.
And where He is, is where I want to be.

Here will not last forever,
But I am His forever and ever.

So while I’m here I can be content,
Wherever I find myself in the present.

And maybe I can even truthfully say,
That I am just happy to be here today.

Healing Together in the Light

Bringing the plight of someone to light,
Whether brother or sister or stranger,
Doesn’t mean we are saying that everyone else is all alright.
It simply means we are caring for one who is suffering or in danger.

Pain is not a competition,
Nor is comparing it particularly helpful.
In fact, comparing it gives the enemy more ammunition,
And creates a vicious cycle if we are not careful.

God created us with emotions and feeling.
He is not intimidated by our inner turmoil or outer weeping.
Lamenting is not the opposite of believing,
If anything, it only means that we are more fully seeing.

He is near to the brokenhearted and crushed in spirit.
And if we are following Him closely,
Being among the hurting will be more than a short visit.
He did not call us out of death to live for our comfort only.

The cost of our own comfort or semblance thereof can be high,
It sometimes means further wounding those already hurting deeply inside.
But that truth is easy to ignore if you drown out their cry,
And live according to the desires of your foolish, selfish pride.

That pride seeks every way to devour,
But the Lord calls us to humble ourselves and be patient,
To grow in His love and to trust in His power,
Not to be self-absorbed, apathetic, and complacent.

Our Savior we claim to follow was no stranger to affliction.
He humbled Himself too and became the Lamb on the altar.
He forgave even those who conducted His crucifixion.
And by His blood, He reconciled us with the Father.

And if we belong to Him, then we also belong to each other.
For He did not give us life to live on our own in isolation.
We are strangers brought together to be sisters and brothers,
A family united in Christ, who is the firm foundation.

This family is not just a community for good times,
We are to share one another’s burdens and serve each other.
Any group of broken people inevitably gets messy sometimes,
But we are still better off together.

We are children of the Light, lamps made to illuminate the night.
We cannot leave hurt or injustice in the dark, concealed.
Our wounds and our sins must be brought out into the Light,
For only when we are vulnerable together, can we truly be healed.

Let us build up and encourage those we encounter,
And point to the Light of the world, Hope that is forever.
Remember we are sons and daughters of Him who has the power,
Through Him, we can learn to reconcile and love each other better.

The Sea & We

Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God, 6 who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, who keeps faith forever;

The sea is His, for He made it,
He knows every molecule within it.
He told the waves how far to go,
And created the creatures that call it home.

The sea is His, deep and vast,
Seemingly endless to us yet a mere drop to Him.
For we are finite but He is infinite.
No part remains uncharted or hidden to Him.

The sea is His, and sometimes He leads us to it,
And He commands even the winds that churn it.
Sometimes He calls us to walk on the water,
And is there to catch us when our doubts try to swallow.

The sea is His, and He has been known to use it,
And sometimes He uses even the big fish within it,
The fish isn’t appointed to simply devour,
But to rescue and change us, by His mighty power.

The sea is deep but we are in His hands.
For even if we find ourselves in its deepest depths,
Still we will be held in His righteous right hand.
Whether we are high or low, He remains firm like land.

We are His, for He made us,
He knows the number of hairs on our heads,
And sees all the days that we have breath.
Billions of people but no identical fingerprints.

We are His, vessels of wrath redeemed for His glory,
He knows us fully yet still loves us radically.
His love is more vast than any sea we encounter,
He has made us a part of His family forever.

We are His, and even when we start to doubt,
No waves intimidate Him from reaching His hand out,
No darkness impairs Him from seeing all.
When we are weak, He remains strong.

We are His, bought with a price at Calvary.
And in Christ there is no condemnation.
Nothing in all creation – not even the most raging seas –
Can separate Him from you and me.

The Crazy Quilt Church

Crazy Quilt Church
We all have ragged edges,
yet somehow fit together beautifully,
A crazy quilt of splendid variety,
Stitched together with elaborate red stitchery.

Each piece unique in color and shape,
With different backgrounds and histories,
Yet united together to tell of the Maker’s glory,
More beautiful together than each piece separately.

Whether emotional and dramatic,
Or more somber and even partly tragic,
Every scrap has a story to tell,
Not just the bold but the quiet as well.

All coming from different places,
And purposefully placed in designated locations,
He brings together even clashing pieces,
And makes them united through His love.

Apart, not very helpful in longevity,
Yet together, purposeful for all of eternity.
Even the most odd piece can be a part,
Each piece He stitches in belongs in His work of art.