Sunday, 15 December 2013

Help me to See

Help me to see.
See what you have given me.
Help me to cherish the days as they are.
Grey or blue, or inbetween.
As they come, to cherish them.

Help me to receive.
Receive what you've given me.
To accept all from your hand,
as it arrives with open palm.
Pleasure, or pain, my wishes tamed.

Help me to believe.
Believe you have my good at heart.
Trust you to never give
what will hurt irreparably, and only
to give what will serve to further me.

Help me to love.
Help me to love with true agape.
Not for gain, or even certainty;
but only to love for the good of the beloved,
because for me your love is enough.

Help me to rest.
Rest through fear and doubt, and frustration.
Rest through struggle, despair, temptation.
Rest my emotions and my will,
in the one who carries me still.

Help me to hear.
Hear above the din of others.
What you long for me to discover;
that you are speaking to me nigh incessently,
and your words are love unquestionably.

Help me to submit.
There is peace that flows like a river,
for the one who has given up.
Given up stubborn independence,
to depend on the one who delivers.

Delivers the day,
the minute, the hour
as a blessing, or a spring-time shower.
Not to harm or hinder or hurt,
but only to nourish the soul's parched earth.

Yet our souls,
they take umbrage.
With the hand that gives.
To ready to distrust the gift,
for its packaged as we cannot envisage.

We would return it,
or shape it as we expect it.
We would weigh it, and continually assess it.
Instead of going with the flow of his providence,
trusting that he knows what is best for us.

So help me to trust you Lord Jesus.
To see, to hear, believe.
To rest in you and receive what you've prepared.
To welcome all that's held in your hand today,
knowing that in true love its made.

Ana Lisa de Jong
December 2013

Goat Island, New Zealand

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Christmas Morning

God came to us.
His journey begun as a seed
the smallest treasure, placed by the mightiest hand;
into the secret place of a daughter of Adam,
that we in good time may receive.

God came to us.
The longest journey
thousands of years, universes spanned;

waiting for a time ordained, from the time of Eve,
to then patiently grow from the smallest seed.

God came to us.
On a donkey’s back, in a warm dark womb enveloped;
He came in humility, in vulnerability,
and borne by love enacted in obedience,
He was carried to His destiny, to outwork his mighty plan.

God came to us.
And like a giant apple tree,
hewn from the smallest pip, He grew,
as a babe in need, in total dependence, in Mary’s womb.
Until it was our time, our turn, to make Him room.

God came to us.
But there was no room.
The inn was full and no one would let Him in.
As though there were  a flaw in His mighty plan,
which may be, if not for the rightness of His humble origins.

For God came to us.
Not only as a King, but as a servant.
And only a stable, which opened wide its doors,
could serve as the birthplace of a babe,
who was both King and ransom to us all.

God comes to us still.
In the form of gracious, humble, sacrificial love.
In the form of His precious one and only Son.
The gift of Christmas, that has never stopped giving
since that first wondrous Christmas morn.

Ana Lisa de Jong
December 2013

    Matthew 1:18-25This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins."All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel"—which means, "God with us." When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

    Painting by Joseph Brickey 'The Road to Bethlehem'

      Monday, 2 December 2013

      I Look for You

      I look for you. 
      I look for you without realising it.
      It is always you that I seek.
      As I look for you in all whom I love, all whom I meet.

      And as another day draws to an end,
      where I have gone misunderstood, where I have felt neglect;
      I become aware that it is only you,
      no-one else, in whose love I can be truly complete.
      That without you, like half a heart,
      or an empty vessel; I only know a lonely ache.
      For there’s only one, only one that exists
      whose love I can rest in – replete.

      So I look for you.
      And never find you, or at least only in part.
      Each person I meet, imperfect yet
      reflecting a portion of your perfect heart.

      But they can’t fulfil.
      They never will – they were never made to.
      All I can do is try and grasp
      in others, what he means for me – for us…

      ‘Relationship’ - with the only one
      who knows each ebb and flow of our heart.
      Who will ever perceive our deepest self;
      what brings us together, what keeps us apart.

      So I look for you.
      And I finally find you, but only when I have given up.
      When I am ready to lay myself down, appreciate others as they are;
      quietened by your love.
      This side of heaven, between the trees
      there will only ever be discontent, and unfulfilled dreams.
      If we try to do it all alone,
      without His love to fulfil our deepest needs.
      His Love that makes up for a multitude;
      that mends what is broken, fills the gaps.
      That transforms our half hearts into whole;
      completes us, and provides all that we lack.

      I look for you.
      And I find you, when I am willing to see.
      That everyone is a part of the whole, including me.
      That I need everyone, but no ‘one’ too -
      for in the end – its only You.

      Ana Lisa de Jong
      December 2013
      Burleigh Heads, Gold Coast, Australia
      "The Lord your God is in your midst...he will rejoice over you with gladness, he will quiet you with his love..."
      Zep 3:17