Thursday, 19 June 2014

Joy

Joy is in the middle.
Whoever thought joy was at the end;
at the end of our afflictions, trials and suffering - 

was wrong.  Its right in the centre of things.

Joy takes us by surprise.
When we thought that all was dark.
Joy's in the glow that glints; through the curtains drawn,
and leads us to search out the light.


And as joy sits at our feet,
we scan the horizon far.
Looking for an answer, or a reason -
not believing - that peace is ours right now.


Joy is the anchor that holds,
while the sea is churning rough.
While the love runs out - runs cold -
and the vessel's tossed to and fro.


Joy continues to hold.
Its strength made perfect in weakness.
Its grace continuing to absolve us,
of shame, of guilt, of faithlessness.


Joy keeps us fighting, keeps us grasping -
to hope, to a future way.
As a laser that pierces the night sky,
it points out the coming of day.


Yes, joy is in the middle.
Whoever thought joy was at the end;
at the end of our afflictions, trials and suffering - 

was wrong.  Its right in the centre of things.

Ana Lisa de Jong
June 2014


"...and not only that, but we also glory in tribulations."
Romans 5:3





Elliott Bay, Northland, New Zealand






Sunday, 1 June 2014

Hope

If  ‘Hope is a thing with feathers that perches in the soul’,
then too many knocks and trials can tend to make it fall.
And for a moment we can wonder where hope has fled,
when the dark clouds shield the sun, and our dreams die unrealised.

When our 'Plan A’s' become 'Plan B’s' we didn’t envisage,
when our optimism is faltering and tears blind our vision;
it’s hard to believe that God’s plans can’t be shaken,
His ways are not our ways – and we won’t be forsaken.

That even in the valley we can be safe in his will.
Even in the storm we can find shelter still.
In the stillness of His presence, where hope resides,
we can renew our strength; and realign ourselves…

To a future that may look different to the one we’ve imagined.
But which we can trust by whose hand it is fashioned.
Though to all appearances it may shatter our dreams,
and break our very hearts, until we recast our vision.

If ‘hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul’
then hope, though it may fall, may yet ‘spring eternal’.
And with wings, we have the freedom to take what we’re dealt,
and make something new out of what seems set in concrete.

Make something beautiful out of the present reality,
though it be rough and stormy, and hard to stay steady.
Make something precious out of all the broken pieces,
as in hand with Him we redesign and restore them to completion.

And hope, with love and faith, are closely related.
It’s because of our love, that our hope can’t be shaken.
It’s because of our faith, that our love doesn't weaken.
It’s because of our hope that our faith remains unbroken.

Ana Lisa de Jong
May 2014


"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.  But the greatest of these is love."
1 Cor 13:13


"Hope is the thing with feathers - that perches in the soul - and sings the tune without the words - and never stops - at all."
Emily Dickensen


Puriri Bay, Northland, New Zealand