Friday, February 16, 2007

Pride - the Source of Worry (A Poem)

Many of you will know that my father's health is declining in his two-year battle against cancer. My Dad, whom I love deeply, is not a believer in the Lord Jesus - and so I would greatly appreciate you praying the Lord would save him.

We needed to get Dad to the hospital on Wednesday night and while I was in the waiting room I determined to redeem the time. I did not have a Bible with me, so I decided to meditate on 1 Peter 5:6-7 ("Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you"). As I rolled those words around in my mind, a couple of phrases came to me that I then wrote down.

You have to understand something. I know I am not a poet! So, most of anything I ever write stays secretly with me. But I read this to my family during devotions last night and they seemed encouraged. So, with no hope of recognition, I offer the words to you. I think the major thought is an important one: the foundation of "bad worry" is pride. Getting that concept squared away helps immensely in the mortification of anxiety.

Pride, the Source of Worry
Sufficient trouble in each day
Is sure to find you out
Enough to try the surest saint
And make the godly pout!

Unless fresh visions from the Word
Transform our feeble minds
Anxiety and dreadful doubt
Are all that we will find.

The Master spoke of birds and blooms
As under God’s control;
He slept while waves and wind were strong
Still trusting through it all.

When heart rates rise and worries soar
And adrenalin starts flowing,
These are the signals pride is strong
And the humbling best get going.

His mighty hand is no less strong
When circumstance looks bleak
As when all things seem to go well;
At both times – I am weak!

So keep me humbled, Lord, I pray
Beneath that mighty hand
And grant the grace to throw my cares
Upon the Son of Man.

© Paul W. Martin. February 14, 2007.

[UPDATE: If you read this far, you deserve more! Here is a much better poem from my favorite poet, John Newton:

Why art thou cast down?
Be still my heart! these anxious cares
To thee are burdens, thorns, and snares,
They cast dishonor on thy Lord,
And contradict his gracious word!

Brought safely by his hand thus far,
Why wilt thou now give place to fear?
How canst thou want if he provide,
Or lose thy way with such a guide?

When first before his mercy–seat,
Thou didst to him thy all commit;
He gave thee warrant, from that hour,
To trust his wisdom, love, and pow’r.

Did ever trouble yet befall,
And he refuse to hear thy call?
And has he not his promise past,
That thou shalt overcome at last?

Like David, thou may’st comfort draw,
Saved from the bear’s and lion’s paw;
Goliath’s rage I may defy,
For God, my Savior, still is nigh.

He who has helped me hitherto,
Will help me all my journey through;
And give me daily cause to raise
New Ebenezers to his praise.

Though rough and thorny be the road,
It leads thee home, apace, to GOD;
Then count thy present trials small,
For heav’n will make amends for all.

John Newton, Olney Hymns, #40.