Wednesday, April 15, 2009

What Did My Faith Lack?

I was reading a passage from a book today when I got triggered and wrote the following poem. The passage that triggered me was from Wayne Jacobsen’s book, He Loves Me: Learning to Live in the Father’s Affection:

Trust: it is so easy to talk about but so hard to put into
practice. Nothing is more theologically certain than that God is
faithful and trustworthy. But learning how to live in that trust
through the twists and turns of our lives is the most difficult
challenge we face.
It took God almost Abraham’s entire life to teach Abraham
the joy of trusting him. But he did it. Finally when the patriarch
was asked to give up his only son and heir, he trusted God’s plan
and God’s nature enough to set about the task . . . .

What Did My Faith Lack?

. . . But God, when You asked Abraham to give
Up Isaac, and he did . . . he got him back!
His child was spared; he was able to live!
I’m taken aback; what did my faith lack?

I gave my child to You, and yet she died!
Abraham’s feat’s known as an act of “faith,”
And yet my heart to You truly complied;
All I have left of my child . . . is a wraith!

Forgive my impudence; I don’t understand!
Please come alongside, take me by the hand.
For my faith, I feel I got . . . Your backhand,
And now I live in Death’s barren wasteland.

You are my Father; You want honesty;
Please help Your child; by faith I cannot see.

“But child, don’t you see? You must lean on Me.
Cry to Me your tears; I will help you see!
I am your Daddy through Death’s Dark Valley …
Put your hand in Mine; I will help you see.

“You must “see” My kingdom’s not of this world;
Your baby lives! I hold your baby girl!
Your baby lies in My arms, safely curled,
At peace, where the Serpent cannot unfurl.

“Faith is being sure of what you hope for,
Being certain of what you do not see
You know My heart toward this child you adore;
By faith, you must keep your eyes upon Me.

“You know My heart! I don’t destroy; I save!
‘Evil One’ kills. – To your child, Life I gave!
For her soul’s safety, My Son, His life gave;
She trusted Him, so her sins I forgave;
I don’t kill; I resurrect from the grave!

“You must ever keep your eyes upon Me—
Peter had to keep his eyes off the waves;
By faith he had to keep his eyes on Me;
So you must see Me, and not all the graves . . .
Life does not end there when a child knows Me;
I overcome all the waves and the graves!

Just as by faith, you gave your child to Me,
So by faith, please know: Your child rests in Me!”


Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!”
“Here I am,” he replied.
Then God said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about.”
Early the next morning Abraham got up and saddled his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about. On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. He said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.”
Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together, Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?”
“Yes, my son?” Abraham replied.
“The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?”
Abraham answered, “God Himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together.
When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it,. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!”
“Here I am,” he replied.
“Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”
Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called that place “The Lord will provide.” And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.”
The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time and said, “I swear by Myself,” declares the Lord, “that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through you offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed Me.”
Genesis 22:1-18 NIV

By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had received the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death.
Hebrews 11:17-19 NIV

The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.
Psalm 23 KJV

Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, My servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now My kingdom is from another place.”
John 18:33 NIV

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
Hebrews 11:1 NIV

(Jesus said,) The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
John 10:10-11 NIV

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
John 3:16 KJV

Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me will live, even though he dies;”
John 11:25 NIV

During the fourth watch of the night, Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw Him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.
But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
“Lord, if it’s You,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to You on the water.”
“Come,” He said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat and walked on the water to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
Immediately Jesus reached out His hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” He said, “why did you doubt?”
And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying, “Truly You are the Son of God.”
Matthew 14:25-33 NIV

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:18 NIV

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 12:2 NIV

He tends His flock like a Shepherd: He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart . . . .
Isaiah 40:11 NIV

Written 4/15/09 - What Did My Faith Lack? - Angie Bennett Prince

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